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Course Selection How-Tos and Graduation Requirements


EMCS offers a fantastic variety of learning experiences. It is characterized by striving to ensure students succeed in whatever path they have chosen. At EMCS, we work to collaborate with staff, students, parents and community to create an environment where students feel valued and have a sense of belonging within their school community. This includes offering high-level academic courses, including a French Immersion program; a wide variety of award-winning applied skills and design courses; excellent sports programs including two academies; and an outstanding variety of performing and visual arts programs. Given our setting, many of our courses also aim to take advantage of our local environment. We are the only Community School in the Sooke School District, which partners with a Community School Society to improve student learning through building stronger families and healthier communities.

Course Selection & Program Planning

Students selecting courses, especially in Grades 10 to 12, should research career and post-secondary entrance requirements. Links to post-secondary and career information are available on the EMCS website and through student myBlueprint accounts.

All students at EMCS must carry full timetables. They are not permitted to have unassigned blocks in their timetables, except for very exceptional circumstances approved by the Vice Principal of record.

Students in Grade 12 who have heavy academic loads and are students in good standing, can request a study block in second semester. This will involve an application form that must be signed by the Vice Principal of record, Parent, Student, and Counsellor.  Students who earn a study block will sign into the library during this time.

Class Size Limitations

When space in classes is limited, priority will be given to students needing the course to meet graduation requirements, and to grade appropriate placements. Student wishing to upgrade courses may be admitted depending on space availability. Please note that not every course will be offered every year. Courses require minimum enrollment to be offered.  We cannot guarantee that there will be space to repeat a course in the 2nd semester to students who have not passed in 1st semester. Opportunities will exist to take the course the following year, online, or at summer school.


Edward Milne is a semestered school, meaning that the school year is divided into two halves - September to January and February to June. Students take four courses in each semester in addition to a year-long careers program, and any outside timetable choices, the first four are finished at the end of January, and the next four begin in February. It is critical for students to stay up to date with their work as they can quickly fall behind.


All students are expected to actively participate through effort and regular, punctual attendance, in their assigned educational program.  When students are absent, parents should notify the school by email, telephone or note, and send the students’ individual teachers an email or note.  Persistent unexplained absences may trigger an intervention by school counsellors or administrators. Attendance matters.


The counsellors at Edward Milne are experienced teachers with extra training and experience in counselling.  This allows them to assist students with career and educational planning and to help students work towards solutions for personal problems. Your counsellor can help you with:

  • Personal counselling for issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, relationship concerns, family conflict, substance abuse, self-esteem, etc.
  • Academic advising and scheduling
  • Career exploration
  • Post-secondary planning
  • Transition and orientation information and support for incoming students
  • Referral to outside agencies
  • Information regarding special opportunities such as encounters with Canada, Rotary-sponsored adventures, student exchange, teen mentorships, etc.

Aboriginal Education

We are fortunate to have a strong Aboriginal Education Department within our school. Our Aboriginal Department is guided by our Natsa’maht agreement.  Natsa’maht is a Coast Salish word for “we are all one”.

  • Qualified teachers who can help you get the credits needed for graduation.
  • An academic focus linked to classroom learning.
  • Strategies needed to be successful in the classroom.
  • Instruction using the “Aboriginal Ways of Learning” and learning styles for your particular needs.
  • Help with transition for courses, programs and post-secondary education.
  • Cultural resources including: books, kits, lesson plans, history books, role model speakers that support classroom sessions, curriculum, local history and culture.
  • A newsletter that keeps you up to date on our events.
  • Curriculum orientated field trips for all members of a class.
  • A variety of cultural events.
  • A Graduation Recognition Ceremony for our students and their families.
  • Our department is here to help you by providing the academic and cultural tools for success.

Grade 9 students follow a program that consists of: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, French Language for Immersion students, and electives. Grade 10-12 credits must be earned in the following subject areas or courses:

  • A Language Arts 10 (4 credits)
  • A Language Arts 11 (4 credits)
  • A Language Arts 12 (4 credits)
  • A Social Studies 10 (4 credits)
  • A Social Studies 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Mathematics 10 (4 credits)
  • A Mathematics 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Science 10 (4 credits)
  • A Science 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • Physical and Health Education 10 (4 credits)
  • An Arts Education and/or an Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 10, 11, or 12 (4 credits)
  • Career Life Education (4 credits)
  • Career Life Connections (4 credits) – completed as 2 credit courses in grades 11 and 12

Students must complete a minimum of 28 elective credits. These 28 credits may be from Ministry-authorized or Board/Authority Authorized (BAA) courses,  post-secondary courses or external credentials, but not Locally Developed courses. Once the credits for required courses have been met, additional courses in that subject area count as elective credits.

Provincial Graduation Assessments
Students must write a provincial Graduation Numeracy Assessment (GNA) in Grade 10 and a provincial Graduation Literacy Assessment (GLA) in Grades 10 and 12 in order to graduate.  French Immersion students will also complete an Évaluation de littératie in Grade 12.

Other requirements and options for earning credits
Students must complete a minimum of 16 credits at the Grade 12 level, 12 credits in addition to a required Language Arts 12 course. These twelve Grade 12 credits may be required courses, electives, Independent Directed Study, External Credentials, or dual credit post-secondary courses (see the Earning Credit through Equivalency, Challenge, External Credentials, Post-Secondary Credit and Independent Directed Studies Policy for additional information).

Post-Secondary Admissions
Students should research their post-secondary options carefully to ensure that they meet any career and post-secondary entrance requirements. Links to post-secondary and career information are available on the EMCS website and through student myBlueprint accounts. School Counsellors are also available to support students.

Course Descriptions:

Please click on the program of interest to the right.