What is an Independent Directed Studies course and how does it fit with high school graduation?

Independent Directed Studies courses enable students to initiate their own learning and receive credits towards graduation. These courses are intended to:

  • expand course options for students
  • allow students to pursue curriculum in greater depth and further develop their passion
  • provide students with the opportunity to pursue further studies of interest.

An IDS course is an extension of one or more learning outcomes already identified in an existing Grade 10, 11 or 12 course (available for either Ministry Authorized or Board Authorized courses). This course must be rigorous, well thought-out and developed through a consultative process involving the student and the teacher. The standards for IDS courses are designed to maintain a high level of quality in the work undertaken. An IDS course is in the student’s regular timetable. Following the submission of applications, successful applicants will work with their IDS teacher to identify and develop the IDS course learning outcomes.

IDS courses are distinctive from the Life Connections/Capstone Project and must have a different focal area then a student’s Capstone Project.


What are the potential benefits of participating in an IDS course?

  • become a self-directed, independent learner
  • develop collaboration and networking skills
  • reach beyond conventional course boundaries
  • develop skills that will prepare you for post-secondary success
  • develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • work with others with similar interests on a local or global basis
  • opportunity to work with recognized community leaders
  • add a unique dimension to your portfolio
Students cannot sign up for an IDS without specific permission and consultation with the teacher in the discipline they wish to pursue.
Interested students should contact the teacher of their choice for instructions on how to proceed with an IDS application.