FAQ - Incoming Grade 9 StudentS
1. How do we apply to Senator O’Connor?
You must submit the application by October 29th. We receive a high volume of applications to O’Connor every year, so anything submitted after this date will likely not be considered. In addition, if your child is applying to the AP program, there is a supplemental application and teacher reference. In order to give his or her teacher enough time to complete the teacher reference, it is good practice for the AP applications to be submitted a week earlier than the official deadline. *** When applying to AP, you should also apply to the Regular Program in the event your child is not accepted into the AP Program***
2. What does my child need to include as part of the application for AP?
Your child will have to complete three components for his/her application to be complete:
Community Involvement/Volunteer experience
Awards & recognition
Persuasive essay detailing why you are applying to our AP program, what you hope to learn in the AP program, and what strengths you can bring to the program
3. After we have applied to O’Connor, when should we hear back regarding acceptance?
If you have applied to the AP program, you will receive an acceptance email between November 27th – December 4th
If you have applied to the Regular Program (including Extended and Immersion French), you should receive an acceptance email on January 7th
4. What happens after we are accepted to Senator O’Connor?
In late January, you will receive an acceptance package from Senator O’Connor. This package will contain information on uniform (both school and phys. ed.), summer school, the grade 9 retreat, as well as registration and course option forms that need to be completed and returned to the school.
In February, we will have registration days where you will return all of the necessary forms completed. This will ensure that your child is officially registered at our school
In June, we have an Orientation Day where we invite all the incoming grade 9s for a visit to O’Connor. Here they have the opportunity to meet staff and get their timetable.
In July, we offer the Summer School Transition Course to all of our incoming grade 9s where students earn a credit while working on Literacy, Numeracy and Phys Ed.
5. Where and when do we purchase the uniform?
You will get all uniform information in your registration package when you are accepted to Senator O’Connor. Everything can be bought at McCarthy’s. In addition to the uniform, your child must come to school in all black shoes—they can be running shoes, but they must be all black. We recommend buying the uniform in August, right before school starts. You can purchase the Phys. Ed uniform from the school when you register your child in February.
6. What supports are available for my child at Senator O’Connor?
There are a lot of supports in place at Senator O’Connor should your child choose to take advantage:
If your child has an IEP, a Special Education teacher will develop your child’s IEP and support your child throughout his or her four years. We also offer a Learning Strategies course to all IEP students to take in each of their four years if they choose.
We have a Peer Tutoring program, where we match students who need extra support in one subject with an older student who wants to tutor that same subject.
The Student Success team is here to help students who might be having course difficulties.
A guidance counsellor is assigned to your son/daughter in grade 9, and will meet with your child as needed, but will also track your child’s success and needs throughout his/her four years.
ESL program offers newcomers the opportunity to learn and improve their English by offering four levels of ESL courses, and by offering ESL-focused courses in Religion and Canadian and World Studies.
CYW and Social Work are also available for students who need social or emotional support.
Two Chaplains are also available for Spiritual guidance and support.
7. What does my daily school schedule look like?
Your first class (homeroom) starts at 8:45am, and the day finishes at 2:45pm. You will take four courses every day from September – January, and a different four courses every day from February – June.
8. How do I know when I have my lunch?
All grade 9s have their lunch at the same time every day: 11:30. Lunch happens right after period two. The Cafeteria is open every day in the morning and during lunch to purchase food; however, you can also bring your own food from home.
9. Where do I buy my uniform?
You will get all uniform information in your registration package when you are accepted to Senator O’Connor.Everything can be bought at McCarthy’s. In addition to the uniform, you must come to school in all black shoes—they can be running shoes, but they must be all black.
10. What courses do I have to take in grade 9?
English, Math, Science, Geography, Religion, French, Physical Education, and an Arts course.
11. What are my options for Arts courses at Senator O’Connor?
Visual Arts, Dramatic Arts, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, and Keyboarding
12. What unique courses and programs does Senator O’Connor offer?
Senator O’Connor offers a number of specialty programs. We offer both Extended and Immersion French all four years. We also offer Congregated AP (Advanced Placement) starting in Grade 9.This means that, if you are in the AP program, you will be taking English, Math and Science in a class with all students at the AP level. Lastly, we also offer two Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs for grade 11 and 12 students: Business and Sports.
13. If I am in Immersion or Extended French, what courses do I take in French?
In grade 9, you take three courses in French: Religion, Geography, and French
14. How do I apply to AP?
Applications are due for both the regular program and the AP program on October 29th.However, if you want to apply to the AP program at Senator O’Connor, you must also submit additional material for your application to be considered.You must submit: and a , therefore, you should submit your application early.
15. What do I need to include as part of the application for AP?
You will have to complete three components for your application to be complete:
Community Involvement/Volunteer experience
Awards & recognition
Persuasive essay detailing why you are applying to our AP, what you hope to learn in the AP program, and what strengths you can bring to the program
16. Can I just take one AP course?
Because we are a Congregated AP school, unfortunately in grade 9, you have to take English, Math and Science at the AP level. However, in grade 10 you are welcome to choose which courses you want to take at the AP level.
17. I’m a little nervous about high school…
It’s normal to feel anxious with this kind of transition. Senator O’Connor is a lot larger than your school now, but you will find that the older students are welcoming and friendly. To help ease your transition, you can consider:
Taking the summer school transition course during the month of July
Going on the 2-day overnight trip for all grade 9s at the end of September
Joining clubs and sports teams to meet a lot of new people
18. How do I sign up for extra-curricular activities?
We host a Club and Sport day in early September for grade 9s.This is your opportunity to learn about all the activities available at the school. Sport teams run at specific times of the year, and clubs usually start up some time in September. Listen for announcements letting you know how to get involved! Your brochure outlines a complete list of OCS clubs and sports.
19. What if I need help?
There are a lot of supports in place for you at Senator O’Connor. If you have an IEP, there is a special education teacher who can help you with your classes. We also have a Peer Tutoring program, where we match students who need extra support in one subject with an older student who wants to tutor that same subject. We also have a Student Success team to help students who might be having course difficulties. If you need any other help, you also will have a guidance counsellor happy to meet with you any time.