FAQ for Parents

When are parent teacher meetings scheduled?

While you can ask to see a teacher of member of the administration any time there are “Parent Nights twice a year, one for each semester around the 8th week of the semester. Email is the best form of communication and teacher email addresses are posted on this site - Faculty

What is the best way to contact teachers/What is the Communication Protocol if I have an issue?

The Staff Directory is posted on this website and all teacher emails are available. You can also call the school at 905-845-2875 and leave a message in a teacher's voice mail. You should know that the staff have laptops and check email more frequently than they check phone messages as there are a limited number of phones in the building. Please do not show up at the school without an appointment asking to see a teacher. They are in classes, have assigned supervision duties, and generally need advance notice.  If you do have an appointment, please go the main office and tell the secretary and she will call the teacher who will come and meet you and take you to an available room to talk.

How are new parents integrated into the school?

The best way is to attend the session designed for new parents held in May of each year. This is aimed mainly at children coming from local feeder schools but a good overview is given and others can follow up from there.

How many students are there at OTHS?

It varies from year to year but in recent years it has been between 1250 and 1300.

If we live in the OTHS area can our children go to another school?

While this is really a question for the school board it can be done. Ask about Optional Attendance at the school office.

I don't live in the OTHS area, can my son/daughter attend OT?

Students living outside of the OTHS boundaries (16 Mile Creek to the West, QEW to the North and Winston Churchill Blvd. to the East) and wishing to attend, must go through the Optional Attendance process. This process is outlined on the HDSB website.

How can parents get involved?

The science is absolutely clear, the more involved parents are, the more successfully the children are. The main avenue for formal involvement at high schools is through the School Council. In addition, numbers of parents are involved in the activities their children are involved in, whether it be sports, music or club programs.

What do I do if my child is facing a problem at school with a teacher or another child?

There are incidents at every school and OTHS is no exception. If you are not sure what to do please take the matter up with the principal. It is heart-breaking to hear stories of families that left the OTHS community for issues that staff are trained and experienced to address and do address on a regular basis. Do speak up, we will all be better off for it!

What do I need to know about “elective courses”.

As your child proceeds through the school they will have more and more choices to make. The only course they will have to take for all four years is English. The biggest turning point is Grade 11 where the main choices are made. Course selections are made in March to give the administration time to plan for courses and teachers for the new year.

What do I do if my child is struggling?

OTHS has a very good “Student Success” program and there are staff dedicated to this function. This aims to address issues as they arise and to work on solutions to achieve success for each child. Contact the office and ask who to speak to.

What does the School (Parent) Council do?

The main role of the Council is to advise the Principal and to act as a means of communication between parents, the community and the school. In addition to this, Council raises funds to supplement school resources and helps in situations where parent involvement would be helpful. Examples are the Career Fair held every few years and “Connections” which is a forum to discuss common issues among parents with teens. Minutes and Agendas are posted on this website. More information is available thought the Halton District School Board (HDSB).

Help! I'm new to Canada, where do I start!

Moving to a new High School can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time but being new to the area, Province or Canada can bring additional issues. However there are some very useful websites available that will help you navigate through the Ontario Education System.

Take a look at http://www.settlement.org/ under the heading of Education, it outlines all you need to know regarding the types of schools available in Ontario, what you need to register at an Ontario school, Special Education and much more. It also provides other useful information relating to arriving in Canada from overseas. For more specific information on the schools in the Halton Region, http://www.hdsb.ca/ provides valuable information such as school boundaries, programs and services, school calendars and community services.

Details regarding The Ontario High School Diploma, Grade 10 Ontario Literacy Test and Graduation requirements can be found on www.edu.gov.on.ca. In addition the school office at Oakville Trafalgar High School can provide you with information specifically relating to this school. Not only is it important that your child settles in the community but that parents have the chance to make new friends, check out http://www.oakvillenewcomersclub.com/ for an opportunity to meet others who are new to Oakville and take the opportunity to join some of the interest groups.The Library in downtown Oakville is also a great resource centre. We extend a warm welcome to you and your family to the area and to Oakville Trafalgar High School. Good Luck!

Why does School start so early!

School start times are a hotly debated issue.  There are a large number of factors that are taken into account and getting this "right" is next to impossible.  Rest assured, OTHS does everything it can to get this issue and others successfully addressed.  If school starts too early most teens are clearly not at their best for learning.  On the other hand, if you start too late, those playing sports are getting home from away games far too late.  Add in issues with school busing (buses are shared with other schools and make up to three trips at the start and end of each day) and teacher union contract requirements and this is not an easy issue.

What is "Pathways"?

Pathways is a provincial program aimed to help secondary school students in their career choices.  Find out more here. HDSB - Pathways.

What are "Volunteer Hours"?

For many years it has been Provincial policy that a student may not graduate from high school without completing 40 community service hours.  Most students have no difficulty meeting this requirement through local organizations.  If you need help contact the school or School Council.  Find out more here.
HDSB - 40 Hours Volunteer Hours Requirement

What is "Student Success"?

In recent years more and more emphasis has been placed on improving the success rate of students.  In many cases the barriers to success can be reduced or removed through relatively simple solutions if applied in time.  Through skilled and experienced staff many students will rapidly "turn things around" and go on to to success.  This terrific program puts part of the responsibility on the school community to assist students with challenges to learning.  Contact the Student Success staff through the school office. 

I hear many OT students go on overseas trips.  How does this work?

The travel bug starts to bite around Grade 10 and many students try to travel without their families for the first time in their Grade 10 summer break before going into Grade 11.  Others will travel later.  There are a number of different options which should be investigated early to avoid disappointment with your child not going while others come back to school in the fall having "seen the world".  There are a number of different types of trips.  Some are simply arranged by enterprising students and will be for a group of their friends.  These are not sanctioned by the school in any way.  Others are organized by well established businesses and still others include the opportunity to get a high school credit in an exotic location such as the UK or Italy.  If you can afford the cost these trips they will build memories for your child that will last a lifetime. 

What kinds of supports are available for families that are going through a rough patch?

OTHS families are no different from others in having to face challenges of one sort or another from time to time.  The good news is that the school and the Board have a very good network of helpers and resources to assist at these times.   For academic issues there is Student Success but the school also has access to social workers and public health nurses.  Financial resources are available to enable students to participate fully their courses regardless of family financial difficulties.  If you find yourself in this situation please contact the school.

What is a "Specialist High Skills Major"

Many Halton Schools offer a specialist certification that allows interested students to spend additional time in a partciluar subject area for which they earn academic recognition.  At OTHS the school offers SHSM programs in business and heath.  More information can be found at HDSB SHSM Web page

I have heard that sometimes Police cars can be seen at the school.  Should I be concerned?

On the contrary, OTHS is a very safe school with and excellent learning environment.  The Halton Police have an officer assigned to the school and part of his job is to stop by the school regularly to get acquainted with the building, students and staff.  Our police officer attends Parent Connections events when topics such as drugs and alcohol are discussed.

Where can we get OTHS Clothing?

"Spirit Wear" is available at the school store.

What is "LINK Crew?"

Each year OTHS welcomes new students.  Every effort is made to make the transition at the beginning of the year as quick and painless as possible for both students and staff.  This is so the real work of education can get under way as soon as possible.  The LINK Crew is a dedicated group of community minded senior students who volunteer to help new students settle in.  They answer questions, lead tours and generally help the staff get the school organized for the new year. 

Access to Student Records

We often receive requests from non-custodial parents for information with regards to their child.  Be advised that, unless we are provided with documentation restricting the non-custodial parent’s right to access the child or school information, we interpret that there are no restrictions and we will provide access as requested. If you have any questions, please contact a school administrator.