Halton Catholic District School Board

Grade 8 to 9 Transition Planning

Download a copy of Engaged Parents – Successful Students for more information about a successful transition.

The transition from elementary to secondary school is a very exciting time for students. Many things occur in their final year of elementary that will help students make the transition smooth and enjoyable.

Below is some information about events, activities and opportunities that will occur throughout the year.

September / October

A great time for students to reflect on their personal interests, strengths, learning styles and set goals for a successful grade 8 year is at the beginning of the school year.


Many opportunities exist for elementary students to visit their home secondary schools. One of the first opportunities are the ‘Grade 8 Night’s’ that they host during the evenings for all parents and their children to attend.

Click the Board Event Calendar to find out when that is.

Secondary school guidance counsellors will also be making visits to grade 8 classes to provide information about the course selection process. Option sheets with course description and school information will be presented to better inform students of their future choices. Many students and parents would benefit from more information about the course pathway options available in secondary schools. Secondary courses are organized as Applied, Academic, Open or Locally Developed. Each offers a style of learning that meets the interests, strengths and needs of the student in a slightly different way. All these options lead to a Secondary School Diploma.


Generally the deadline for Grade 9 Option Sheet is in December. Your Grade 8 teacher will have all the important dates and deadlines, and will support their students using myBlueprint. Course  selection should be based on the individual students interests, strengths and needs. In order for this to happen, students should speak with their teachers, parents/ guardians and secondary school guidance counsellors when selecting courses.

This month is also a great opportunity to explore your personal interests, potential post-secondary programs or career fields through myBlueprint to assist in course selection for Grade 9.


In addition to the Grade 8 Night’s in November and December, secondary schools will have an ‘open house’ for the greater school community so students and parents would benefit from more information about school programming, pathways options, co-curricular activities and the other wonderful opportunities that are available at each secondary school.

March / April

During this time period, students will be asked by their secondary school guidance counsellors to verify the courses they have selected. At this point, you will have an opportunity to make any necessary changes to your Grade 9 Course Selection. Again, students should speak with their teachers and parents to confirm the courses selected is the right decision after receiving their mid-year reports.

May / June

Your secondary school may offer additional activities or events for incoming Grade 8’s to become familiar with their new school.


All secondary schools host a Grade 9 Orientation Day for incoming students new to the school. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the student leadership council organizing the day, find out their class schedule and meet new friends from other elementary schools. Finally, if you have any further questions before beginning Grade 9, school support staff are their for your inquiries.

For more information and resources about the transition from elementary to secondary school, you may visit the Ministry of Education, as well as the Halton Region websites.

Once you have completed grade 8, you may begin to accumulate your 40 hours of community involvement that is a secondary school graduation requirement. The summer immediately following grade 8 is great opportunity to get this graduation requirement out of the way. Be sure to check in with your new secondary school to obtain the necessary forms and information about eligible community involvement activities.

HCDSB Community Service Hours Form