Program Overview

TOPS is a four year program that meets the TDSB’s requirements for graduation credits. The following are the courses which comprise the mandatory TOPS curriculum.

1799001_609481575811953_48051212_o (1)-480x360Grade 9

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Civics and Career Studies

Of the grade nine TOPS courses, most parallel the TDSB curriculum for their respective grade 9 courses outside of TOPS. However, the grade 9 TOPS Math course covers a variety of different topics to the standard curriculum, encompassing mental math, set theory, factoring quadratics, and logarithms, amongst other topics. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the grade 9 TOPS curriculum in math is the introduction of the card game bridge, which combines social courtesy and problem solving. In grade 9, students also visit YMCA Camp Pinecrest at the start of the year in order to engage in team building exercises and develop a close-knit community.

Grade 10

  • Grade 10 Mathematics (Semester 1)
  • Grade 11 Functions and Advanced Functions (Semester 2)
  • English
  • History
  • Science
  • Computer Science

The grade 10 TOPS math curriculum is largely similar to the curriculum outside of the program. On the other hand, the grade 10 course curriculum incorporates portions of the standard grade 11 functions course as well as the standard grade 12 advanced functions course to prepare students for calculus the following year. In addition, in recent years, grade 10 English and history have been taught as a combined course throughout the year, as students use history to explore the historical context of their literature and stories to explore prevalent mindsets of varying historical periods. Furthermore, the science curriculum features a trip to Algonquin Park, while the Computer Science course places an emphasis on Java using the Java Ready To Program and BlueJ IDEs.

Grade 11

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English
  • TOPS Calculus Level 1 (AP AB equivalent) or TOPS Calculus Level 2 (AP BC equivalent)

While the grade 11 TOPS science and English courses extend slightly beyond the difficulty of standard courses, the math course is the equivalent of either AP AB or BC Calculus. The calculus courses cover topics such as differentiation and integration prior to the school exam in January, while teachers also offer extra courses after school covering parametric equations and other complex topics to finish preparations for the AP Calculus Exam. 

Grade 12

  • English
  • At least 1 of:
    • Mathematics – Linear Algebra
    • Mathematics – Data Management
  • At least 2 of:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Advanced Placement Physics C or Physics

In grade 12, the TOPS level courses are generally found to be sufficient preparation for AP exams. In their senior year, students work through an English course that incorporates work for many of the essays required by university applications. They must also choose at least one math credit between data management and linear algebra, the latter of which is not offered as a standard course by the TDSB. In addition to this, students must choose at least 2 courses amongst the three TOPS level grade 12 science courses. Individuals seeking a challenge in the sciences may elect to enroll in the AP Physics C course, which utilizes calculus in its analysis of dynamics, space science, magnetism and electricity. The AP course also provides a rigorous challenge in terms of lab work, data analysis, design, and construction.

TOPS students also fill out their timetables with at least ten elective courses over their tenure at our school. These courses enable TOPS students to learn alongside the rest of the MGCI community. These courses may include: technological classes (Computer Science, Robotics, Computer Engineering), additional language classes (French, Writer’s Craft), the arts (Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Film, Photography), and Social Science classes (Law, World Issues, Finance, Philosophy, Economics).