Overview of Co-op Program at Contact School

Both paid work and volunteer placements may be used to earn credits. All placements must meet TDSB standards for safety, appropriateness, etc. The number of hours used from a paid job is limited and must correspond to times when the Co-op teacher is available to make a monitoring call. Certain jobs (e.g., roofer, tattoo artist, baby-sitter, any unsupervised work, etc) cannot be used for Co-op credit.

Co-op ‘packages’ are individually designed for each student based on an assessment her/his academic needs. Students who have completed very few compulsory credits may not be eligible for some Co-op ‘packages’.

Students may apply at any time, but may be placed on a waiting list before being able to earn credit hours.

Admission to Co-op is based solely on the school’s assessment of the applicant’s academic needs, and the number of places available in the programme at any given time.

All pre-placement requirements (including the signed Work- Education Agreement) must be completed before students may begin to earn credit hours.

Co-op Options

After-school Co-op
(paid or volunteer work)
1 credit (minimum 110 hours per semester) OR 2 credits
(minimum 220 hours per semester).
No more than 220 hours per semester may be used for credit. Hours used for Co-op credit in must be limited to times when teacher is available to monitor students (late afternoon-early evening).
Some weekend hours may be used for credit if the Co-op teacher is willing and able to monitor students at that time.

Afternoon Co-op
(paid or volunteer work)
Periods C & D
Quad 1 and/or Quad 2 and/or Quad 3 and/or Quad 4
Approximately 3 credit hours daily
110 hours per quad = 1 credit per quad
No half-credits available in Co-op.

Special Co-op
Special Co-op timetables (e.g., morning, full-day, etc) may be possible for limited number of students. Pre-requisites: successful completion of at least one semester at Contact School and recommendation from Guidance teacher; and/or permission from Vice-principal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my part-time job for Co-op?
Yes, you can use up to three hours per day from your job and, possibly, more hours on the weekend. However, your job site must be inspected and approved by the Co-op teacher and you must do all the paperwork and assignments as part of the Co-op course.

Will the Co-op teacher help me find a job?
Yes, you will be given help developing skills and accessing resources for finding work. But finding a job is ultimately up to you.

Can the Co-op teacher help find a volunteer placement for me?
Yes, but you will be expected to take an active role in the process. Be prepared to spend some time finding your placement.

How to register in and earn credits though Co-op:
A step-by-step guide

1) Before school, during break, at lunch, or after school, visit Rob or Nabeel. They will give you an application form. Read it and fill it out. Return it to them as soon as possible. If you are under 18 years, a parent/guardian must sign the application.

2) When you return the application form you must make an appointment to be interviewed for Co-op. At the interview, it will be determined what kind of Co-op program will best suit your academic needs at this time. It may be necessary to postpone starting Co-op if you have earned very few compulsory credits so far.

3) After the interview, you may be offered a conditional acceptance. Full acceptance will be granted when you complete all of the pre-placement requirements (including, if necessary, finding a suitable job or voluntary position). The pre-placement requirements also include: all necessary paperwork (with signatures), attending one-one and/or group pre-placement tutorials on employment issues, and completing all written and oral pre-placement assignments. This time ‘counts’ as 10-15 hours towards the total number of hours used for credit.

4) Once the pre-placement requirements are completed (and if you are not on a waiting list) you may begin to count credit hours in your job. You must provide (acceptable) written evidence of your hours every two weeks. You may be taken off roll if you do not submit hours.

5) The Co-op teacher will ‘monitor’ you during your time in the program: through brief, informal ‘reflection’ meetings with you once a week; and though site visits and phone or email discussions with your supervisor (including a final written evaluation). You and your supervisor will be given a Personal Placement Learning Plan within the few weeks of your placement. The ‘expectations’ in the PPLP form the basis of how your performance in the job is evaluated.

5) In addition to the pre-placement component (worth 10% of the final mark), and the placement component, (40% of final mark), there will be weekly ‘reflection’ meetings with the Co-op teacher and one formal, written 'reflection' paper per quad (20% of final mark), as well as a final culminating assignment (30% of final mark) at the end of the quad (for afternoon Co-op) or semester (for after-school Co-op).

6) It is your obligation to keep in touch with the Co-op teacher on a regular (i.e., weekly) basis. Students who ‘disappear’ (without explanation) are likely to be removed from the Co-op programme. No credit can be assigned in Co-op unless there is acceptable (written) evidence of sufficient hours in the placement or job during the time that the student is scheduled to be in Co-op. It is important to remember that Co-op is a credit-granting course. As in any other course, students who do not fulfill the requirements of the course will not receive a passing grade.

7) It is the obligation of the student to familiarize her or himself with requirements for Co-op (found on this website)and to seek any clarification needed from the Co-op teacher well in advance of the evaluation periods at the end of each quad and/or semester.