When I was in high school, in Ontario, students with the intention of going to a university were required to take 6 courses labelled Ontario Academic Credits (OAC). These were essentially grade 13 courses. The majority of students entering into university, along with many who did not, spent five years in high school.
This additional year did not come with a requirement for more credits. Students were required to obtain 30 credits, which would translate into 30 courses over five years. If a student was to take a full four classes a semester, it was possible to obtain 40 credits.
This practice of the OAC/grade 13 year was dropped in 2003 as the province decided to follow suit with the rest of the continent. But graduation requirements have remained the same at 30 credits, and it is still common to see students return for a fifth year (aka Victory Lap).
What I thought was great about the five years of high school was the freedom to explore. There was time to experience a wide variety of subject areas and just take courses for fun. It also provided an opportunity to take a lighter course load and spend time focusing on a fewer courses at once.
These days, I hear many students say they are not ready to leave high school after only four years. They don't feel confident that they have developed the skills necessary to go off to post-secondary on their own.
Could spending more time in secondary school provide students the opportunity to better prepare for and more effectively transition to post-secondary?