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Youth (12-17)

Going to school. Staying in school. Succeeding in school.

As your child moves from tween to teen, they will have many opportunities to discover their interests, through extra-curricular activites, volunteering, and social relationships. We’re here to help you find trusted programs that meet your child’s interests and family’s needs, as well as promote optimal physical and mental health. From tween to teen, your child is becoming more independent, discovering their passions, and planning for their future. We're here to help with trusted resources.
 

On this page


Secondary Schools in London and Middlesex

School Boards

School Locator

Alternative Options

Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom

English/French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL)

Extra-Curricular and Learning Activities

Volunteering

Part-time and Summer Jobs

Mentorship and Mentoring

Tutoring and Provincial Assessment Support

Alternative Education

Safety

Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Tobacco and Vaping Prevention

Sexual Health

Mental Health

Safe Driving

Planning for Life After Graduation

Postsecondary Options

Financial Planning

Need More Help?

 

Secondary Schools in London and Middlesex


School Boards

In London and Middlesex, the majority of the secondary schools (also referred to as high schools) are public, and are operated by the following school boards:

     
 
Secondary school Locator 

The school your child will attend is usually based on where you live.

Selecting a school from the Thames Valley District School Board or London District Catholic School Board will be primarily based on the location of your primary residence. Use the following tools to find out which school in your neighbourhood your child will attend:
         

Alternative Secondary School Options 

Traditional public secondary school education does not suit every family or child. If you are interested in exploring alternative options to education for your child, here are some additional secondary school options in London and Middlesex. 
 
Home Schooling
Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131  [external link] – Information from the Government of Ontario on procedures and resources for parents who wish to home school their child(ren).

Language Schools
London Chinese School
London German Language School

Private Secondary Schools 
Blyth Academy  [external link]
London School (The) (grades 7-12) [external link]
Montessori Junior High [external link]
Riverbend Academy [external link]
 
Religious/Cultural Elementary Schools
Al-Taqwa Islamic Secondary School
Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
Conseil scolaire Viamonde [external link]
Holy Trinity Greek School of London
London District Catholic School Board
Thames Valley District School Board - Wiingashk Centre - Alternative Secondary School
 
Schools for Children with Disabilities
Amethyst Demonstration School
Special Education Programs - TVDSB [external link]
Special Education – LDCSB [external link]

Visit our Specialized Services page for more information about services and resources that can help you and your child.
 
 

Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom


English/French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) programs provide language instruction for individuals whose first language is neither English nor French. Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) are federally-funded classes for recent newcomers.

To learn about language supports offered to newcomers through the school boards, visit these pages:
   
 
Extra-Curricular and Learning Activities 

Extra-curricular activities enhance the skills and knowledge learned through academics and significantly impact school life for students.[1] They are an excellent way for your teen to explore their interests, build their confidence, meet new people, and practice time management. Listing extra-curricular activities on a resume or postsecondary application will help demonstrate their experiences and interests.

Many schools will offer extra-curricular activities like special clubs for arts and science, music bands, or sports teams. Visit the individual school’s website or speak with a teacher or principal to find out what opportunities are available.
You can find activities outside of school for your child to participate in as well. Visit our Recreation Programs and Facilities page to lean more.
 

Volunteering

Did you know that Ontario secondary students must complete 40 hours of community service to receive their diploma?[2]  The purpose of the community involvement requirement is to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities.

Volunteering is also a great way for students to:
 
  • Develop skills
  • Gain work experience
  • Discover new interests
  • Meet and network with new people

Volunteering can begin the summer before grade 9 and it must be completed before the end of grade 12.[3] Proof of 40 hours of volunteer work will be submitted by a form provided by your child’s school. You can also search your child’s school website for volunteer opportunities or visit our list of volunteer referral networks.
 

Part-time and Summer Jobs

Part-time and summer jobs will give your child the opportunity to gain work experience, make new connections, learn time management, and earn some money.


Employment Assistance for Youth

Unemployed or underemployed youth and young adults can get help through drop-in resource centres, job search assistance programs, and job-skills workshops. Employment counselling and career planning services provide information on the labour market, grants, funding, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for ongoing support. Search our Employment Assistance for Youth listings to find these resources, and check out this employment resources for youth page from the Ontario government for even more resources.


Mentorship and Mentoring 

Mentoring Programs for Children and Youth provide support and advice to young people through a one-on-one relationship with an adult volunteer. The mentor assists them in overcoming any challenges they may face.

Youth Centres offer social and recreational activities, snacks, information and support, and in some cases counselling for teens.

Additionally, school boards may also have their own mentoring programs. Connect with your child’s guidance counsellor for more information.


Tutoring and Provincial Assessment Support

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s educational progress, speak with their teacher or contact their school board to determine what tutoring and extra support is available. 

Some Family Centres also offer programming to help your child with their homework. Visit the Family Centre programming calendar and search “homework” to see what’s available now, or contact your local Family Centre’s Community Connector who can help you find other tutoring or homework support in your community.

For students from kindergarten to grade 12, the province administers an assessment program through the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). The tests that are administered assess students’ literacy and math skills at key points throughout their education (grades 3, 6, and 9). Visit the Assessments page on the EQAO website to learn more about the assessments, including key dates, examples, and steps your child can take to prepare. 


Alternative Learning

Traditional education does not suit every student. If your child is experiencing difficulty, there are alternative options, such as more flexible schedules and individualized learning. Explore what your child’s school board offers below.     

Safety


Alcohol and Drug Prevention

According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit, the top two reasons that teens will turn to substance use are:


There are many risk factors as well, such as having access to drugs or alcohol, less supervision, and most of all, having friends that use. It’s also important to note that young people are at a higher risk for addiction to drugs and alcohol than adults because of their specific brain chemistry.[4]

It’s important to have conversations with your teen about the risks and consequences of substance use. There are many good community resources to help:
 

Tobacco and Vaping Prevention

Preventing your teen from smoking or vaping is incredibly important. The young brain is more at risk to nicotine while it is developing, and nicotine can also harm parts of the brain that help young adults to focus and learn.[5] 
Nicotine is highly addictive. Find out what you can do to prevent your child from getting hooked:
 

Sexual Health

Adolescents between the ages of 13 to 17 will begin to understand that they are sexual and understand the options and consequences of sexual expression.[6] It’s important that you talk to your teenager so they can understand how to become a sexually healthy adolescent.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s Sexual Development Ages 13-17 page has more information about what families need to do to raise sexually healthy adolescents.

For access to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) tests and birth control, your teen can talk to their family doctor or visit the free STI Clinics and Birth Control Clinics at the Middlesex-London Health Unit.


Mental Health

The teenage years can be difficult, with hormonal changes, navigating new relationships, and pressures at school or home. Because of the combination of physical and hormonal changes stress can trigger an emotional response that’s often stronger and more intense than is experienced by older adults. [7]

In Ontario, up to 1 in 5 teens or kids have mental health issues, and 70% of these cases can be dealt with by finding out the issue early and doing something to get them well. [8]

Here are some resources to help your teen maintain good mental health:
 
For crisis mental health services, please visit our Crisis Services page.


Driving

In Ontario there is a staged approach to obtaining a driver’s licence, called “graduated licencing”. Your teenager will need to complete tests for three different licences before they completely “graduate”. This process usually takes approximately five years.

At 16 years old, your teenager is eligible to apply for the first licence, called a G1. This involves an eye test and a written test, which they can study for using the Ontario Driver’s Handbook. Once they receive their G1 licence they will be able to drive with a fully licenced driver that has at least four years of driving experience, and must follow other rules, such as maintaining a zero blood alcohol level. Learn more by visiting the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s “Get a G Driver’s Licence: New Drivers” page.

Given that your teenager could be behind the wheel at such a young age, it’s important to have serious discussions with them about the importance of driving safely. One in four serious motor car crashes are as a result of young drivers, even though young drivers only account for about 1 in 10 of the driving population.[9]

Driving will require their full attention to avoid hurting themselves or others.

Visit these resources for more information:
   


Planning for Life After Graduation


Planning for life after high school will involve self-discovery from your teenager as they narrow down what paths interest them, and explore possibilities to pursue those interests. Making these important decisions can be difficult at a young age, but you can encourage your teen to speak to their guidance counsellor, mentor, or members of their support system for help. 

Post-secondary Education

In London and Middlesex there are lots of post-secondary education options if your teenager wants to stay local. Such as:


Here are more options available:

Colleges

Universities

Apprenticeships
 
Workforce Entry

If your teenager will be entering the workplace or beginning an apprenticeship after high school, the London Public Library has an excellent list of job search information [external link] with job postings, tips for networking, resume writing and interviewing, among other resources. If you are located in Middlesex County, the County’s Employment Services page [external link] will help your child find similar local resources.


Financial Planning

Funding post-secondary education is an important consideration when planning for post-secondary options. Your teenager’s guidance counsellor can discuss available options in detail. Most people feel that scholarships are awarded for those students with the highest marks; however, community involvement, extra-curriculars, sports, art contributions, family background, and part time employment all come into play when looking for scholarships. Applying for scholarships is a large task and should be started early in your secondary career.[10] Here are some funding options available:
 


Need More Help?


Community Connectors are fundamental to helping London families get connected to services and supports. In every Family Centre, families are greeted by a knowledgeable, friendly Community Connector who helps them connect seamlessly to more opportunities that help them be successful in all aspects of their lives.
 
Contact or visit a Family Centre to speak with a Community Connector.
 
MLHU Telephone Support for Families
Available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, call 519-663-5317 to speak with a Public Health Nurse from the Middlesex-London Health Unit about questions or concerns about parenting, or caring for your infant or child.
 
Telehealth Ontario
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a medical emergency, call 911.

Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000

Toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007
 
[1] Thames Valley District School Board. (2017). Extra-Curricular Activities. Retrieved from: https://www.tvdsb.ca/en/students/extra-curricular-activities.aspx
 
[2] Ontario Government. (2019). Volunteering in Ontario. Retrieved from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/volunteering-ontario
 
[3] West Elgin Secondary School. (2017). Volunteer Hours. Retrieved from: https://westelgin.tvdsb.ca/en/students/volunteer-hours.aspx
 
[4] mlhealthunit YouTube Channel. (2012). Factors That Put Teens at Risk for Drug and Alcohol Use. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n9MTpoln3c&list=PLXYSd3E5ACShXqdvxYpm7FHG0DAvmAIE_&index=2
 
[5] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2019). Vapour Products (Electronic Cigarettes). Retrieved from: https://www.healthunit.com/e-cigarettes
 
[6] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2014). Sexual Development Ages 13-17. Retrieved from: https://www.healthunit.com/sexual-development-ages-13-17
 
[7] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2018). Teens and Stress. Retrieved from: https://www.healthunit.com/youth-stress
 
[8] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2015). Mental Health for Kids and Teens. Retrieved from: https://www.healthunit.com/mental-health-youth
 
[9] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2017). Young Drivers. Retrieved from: https://www.healthunit.com/teens-and-safe-driving
 
[10] London Central Secondary School. (2018). Awards, Bursaries, and Scholarships. Retrieved from: https://central.tvdsb.ca/en/parents/awards-bursaries-and-scholarships.aspx