General Information

Before You Start

This planner is intended to support students and their parents/guardians in choosing the most appropriate courses for the 2021-2022 school year.  Some courses must be taken to meet the graduation requirements of the Ministry of Education, while others can be chosen to meet individual interests and goals. This planner describes the broad requirements of each grade, the content of individual courses, and the various programs and services at McMath Secondary.

Timetabling (the number of sections of each course) is based on the course requests made by students in February and March. The following steps are used to build McMath School’s master timetable:

  • Students determine their compulsory courses and choose their elective courses using this Course Planning guide to assist them.  Students submit their course requests to their counsellor AND enter request into the Student Information System (MyEducationBC)
  • The requests for each course are tallied and that information is used to determine how many blocks to build for each course.  Courses with too few student requests will be cancelled.  Students who have requested a course that gets cancelled will then be programmed into their alternate elective choice.
  • The master timetable is built using the numbers of blocks for each course as determined by student requests.


It is essential that students consider the task of choosing courses as a major responsibility because the choices that they make determine the master timetable.  Once the master timetable is built, course changes become much more difficult; thus, it is very important that the selection of courses be done carefully.  Please choose courses and alternatives carefully, keeping in mind the following factors:


  • Elective courses will be offered only if there is sufficient enrolment to justify a class.  The possibility arises that a student may select a course that cannot be scheduled.  In this case, the student will be offered an alternative elective, suitable for his/her timetable.  Make sure to provide thoughtful alternate selections when you are course planning.
  • Students may select courses based on their interests and plans.  Students are not allowed to select courses based on individual teacher requests.
  • Students and parents/guardians should examine the book thoroughly (available on school’s website), then discuss the choice of courses together, and consult teachers or counsellors if necessary.
  • Students in the Graduation Program (Gr. 10-12) need to plan their courses with career and/or post-secondary programs in mind.  If students are in doubt about future academic or career directions, they should choose courses that allow them as many options as possible.
  • Counsellors and the departments involved will review requests for the English Language Learner Classes.
  • Many B.C. Universities require students to complete a Modern Language to the grade 11 level for admission.
  • All students in grades 8 – 11 are expected to take eight courses.  Students in grade 12 may choose a study block.  Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by school administration.


 Feb. 1-4

 Counsellors make initial visits to Grade 7 schools in catchment (English & French Immersion).

 Feb. PLT (date  TBD)

 Course Planning Visits for grades 8 to 11 (during PLT).

 Feb. 8

 VIRTUAL Course Planning Information Session for parents of students in grades 7 (7pm ZOOM Webinar) 

 Feb. 3 (tentative)  VIRTUAL Program Planning Information Session for parents of students in Gr. 8-11 (7pm ZOOM Webinar)

 Feb. 11

 Grade 7 Program Planning sheets due.  

 Feb. 11 Grade 8 and 9 “Program Planning” sheets due.

 Feb. 117

 Grade 10 and 11  “Program Planning” sheets due.

 TBD (Drop-in 3:15-4pm)

 Gr.Non-Catchment (transfer approved) Program Planning.  You will be contacted directly by school counsellor.

 Mar. 8 and 9

 Math 8/9 Placement Test for incoming grade 8's at McMath (3:30).  Please enter through front door of school.

March 8: Diefenbaker, Byng, Steves, Dixon

March 9: Homma, Gilmore, Westwind, Other

 Apr. (mid)

 “Course Request Verification” forms sent home.

Apr. (late)

 "Course Request Adjustments" due.

 Note:  Changes made after posted date will be given lower priority in August/September. 

 Note: Waitlists are created after Spring Break to facilitate request changes.

 May 25

 Grade 7 Orientation - In Person (9-11am) or VIRTUAL TBD

 Late August

 Student timetables sent home

 Aug. 29-Sept.2

 Course changes for:

  • Incomplete timetables
  • Errors in “required” courses (e.g. wrong grade level).

 Please email counsellor or make appointment with office by calling 604-718-4050.

 Sept. 9

 Deadline for Course changes

  • Electives
  • Other reasons

 Requests for change must on course correction form or be made by letter from parent/guardian.



If you live outside the McMath catchment, you are still welcome to apply to our school as a "Transfer Student".   Please do so using the appropriate forms.  More information available on the district site:

Successful applicants will be called by a McMath counsellor to complete program planning documents and discuss other transition details.  




Vision Statement

McMath Secondary School is distinguished for its strong, positive, interpersonal relationships.  These relationships, which are the foundation for learning and personal growth, exist in the school to enable and include all learners.  The McMath community honours the primacy of teaching and learning within an atmosphere of acceptance, belonging, and mutual respect.  Members of the school community are encouraged to strive for their personal best as citizens, leaders, and life-long learners.



McMath is a comprehensive dual track French Immersion/English Grades 8-12 secondary school that operates on a linear timetable.  The school will have an enrolment of about 1300 students in the 2022/23 school year and like the city of Richmond we are a multicultural community.  Along with the core of basic academic courses students are able to choose from a wide variety of interesting electives, many honours and Advanced Placement Courses, Work Experience Programs and Apprenticeship Programs. The Learning Services program supports our students with learning needs. The school has a rich tradition of outstanding academic success and a majority of students proceeding to post-secondary education. At McMath students are expected to work hard and be successful in the classroom and we encourage students to be engaged and involved in the vast extra-curricular life at our school.



Students and staff are to exhibit the following core values of our school at all times, whether within the school and its facilities, or acting as ambassadors while out in the surrounding community, or on field trips representing our school.  At McMath we believe that students and staff shall demonstrate a:


Positive Attitude:  to recognize and develop opportunities to create positive environments for self and others.

Respect:  To value self, others and the environment.

Integrity:  To be honest, trustworthy and moral.

Diversity:  To accept and welcome all individuals – to appreciate the ideas and experiences of those different from themselves.

Effort:  To establish goals and expectations, acknowledging when situations are difficult, and choosing to persevere.


These principles (developed by students, staff & parents), will serve as the foundation for school conduct for all members of our school community.  The complete PRIDE rubric, which outlines our school’s expectations in the classroom, in common areas of the school, and on-line, is displayed inside the student agenda.



At McMath, students have a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs, athletic teams, hobby groups, leadership committees and opportunities to join and enrich their overall educational experience. There is a strong focus on local and international humanitarian work and on environmental stewardship.  All students are encouraged to pursue their interests and passions and join a club, team, or group outside of their regular academic classes to round out their school life at McMath.



The school competes, with great success, in the RSSAA leagues and usually enters teams in all of the traditional fall, winter and spring sport seasons.  Students are expected to exhibit a strong commitment to their teams, a high standard of sportsmanship as a representative of McMath School and must be working to their full potential in the classroom to remain eligible to participate on a school team. Sports offered may change according to student and staff interest. Travel and tournament opportunities are available.


  • Cross Country – Boys and Girls            
  • Field Hockey – Girls                         
  • Rugby  - Bantam & Juvenile Boys         
  • Swim Team - Boys and Girls                                                               
  • Soccer – Sr. Boys                                                                               
  • Volleyball –Jr. & Sr. Boys and All Girls                                                



  • Basketball – Boys and Girls          
  • Curling – Boys and Girls               
  • Table Tennis – Boys and Girls        



  • Badminton – Co-ed
  • Track and Field – Boys & Girls
  • Golf – Girls and Boys
  • Rugby – Jr. &Sr. Boys and Girls
  • Soccer – Sr. Girls
  • Tennis – Co-ed
  • Ultimate – Co-ed
  • Volleyball – Bantam & Juv. Boys


Clubs & Activities

A wide range of activities and clubs are available to all students. At McMath we believe that extracurricular clubs and activities are valuable for the development of the whole student, and an opportunity for students and McMath staff members to meet and share common interests in specific areas.  Examples of clubs that may run are:

  • After School Tutors
  • Anime Club
  • Art/Pottery Club
  • AV Club
  • Bazinga
  • Blog Team
  • Board Game Club
  • Boys Group
  • Business Club
  • Cats Give Back
  • Chess Club
  • Code Club
  • Dance/Hip Hop
  • Debate Club
  • Drum Line
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • First Responders
  • Fruit-Veggie Club
  • Fuss Ball Club
  • Games Club
  • Girls Group
  • Glee Club
  • Grad Committee
  • Hip Hop Dance Team
  • Improv Club
  • Interact Club
  • Japanese Cultural Club
  • Kindle Club
  • Leadership
  • Library Monitors
  • Lighthouse
  • Link Crew
  • Math Club
  • Model UN Club
  • Multicultural Club
  • Music Ensembles
  • Natural Club
  • PRIDE Club
  • Robotics Club
  • School Reach
  • Science Challenge
  • Scorekeepers/Referees
  • Ski/Snowboard Club
  • Smash Club
  • Spirit Committee
  • Steam Punk Society
  • Student Council
  • Tennis Club
  • 30 Hr Famine Club
  • United Nations
  • War Child


Performing Arts (Music & Drama)

McMath has had jazz, choral, stage and concert band groups for many years.  Students normally enroll in a credit course in music and are expected to commit themselves to regular practice sessions as well as special performances and one major trip each year. Extracurricular music opportunities are also available. Similarly, the drama courses and drama club offer opportunities for both young actors and behind the scenes support people in the theatre to get involved in major school productions and an “improv” competition troupe.



Each year a group of interested students travel to, or host students from our long time foreign partners in Japan, where we have a sister school. The school also participates in humanitarian projects in Costa Rica. Students may also have the opportunity to travel to destinations (with a language focus) with our French Immersion or Spanish Programs to places such as France, Italy, Mexico, Spain or Peru, or (with an Arts focus) to Europe or New York. These outstanding cultural and travel experiences are available to all students and can be the beginning of lifelong friendships, as well as stimulate a passion for travel.  Similarly, McMath students may travel with groups like athletic teams to exciting destinations such as California or Florida and various sites in B.C.





Food Services

There are vending machines and a lunchroom service available to students.  The lunchroom service is available before school, during recess break and at lunchtime.


Student Pictures and Bus Passes (GO Cards)

Photographs for these items are taken in September.  Picture packages can be ordered at this time.  Graduation portrait information will be distributed by the graduation committee early in the school year.


Agenda Books

In September, every student will receive a McMath agenda book.  We encourage all students to use their agenda daily as a personal organizer and to record homework, assignments and achievements.


McMath Clothing

Crested sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts and sweat pants are available during the year. Students are encouraged to display their school pride at games, events, and spirit weeks.


Parent/Guardian Involvement

In addition to encouraging students to participate in extra-curricular activities in the school, we need parents/guardians to become involved as well.  Some ways to support the school might be: participating in groups like the Dry–Grad Committee, the Parent Advisory Council, the School Planning Council, coaching or sponsoring teams/clubs, helping with field trips, attending parent evenings, supporting school goals at home and organizing/helping with special events.  For more information contact an administrator at the school.


Costs Associated with Courses

Basic supplies required to fulfill learning outcomes in all courses will be provided to students free of charge.  Should students wish to use other or additional supplies, these may be purchased directly or through the school on a cost-recovery basis.  Students wishing to take home or consume completed project work may do so on a cost-recovery basis.   Students will be asked to pay costs in connection with optional field trips.



Subject teachers issue textbooks. There is a charge for school texts if they are returned with more than normal wear.  Students will be billed for their repair or replacement. There is also a charge for lost textbooks.



There is a school expectation that students attend and are on time for all classes in which they are registered. Beyond this expectation, however, it is well established that poor or inconsistent attendance is directly related to a lower degree of academic success. Parents need to phone in to notify the school of any absence, as there is an early-warning phone system to notify parents/guardians of unexplained absences in the morning. Students, upon return to school, should bring a note to show to teachers.  Any student arriving late to school must sign in at the office and any student leaving school early must sign out at the office.


Course Load

All students must carry a full schedule of classes – 8 classes per year.  Grade 12 students may have 1 study block for the year.  Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the school administration.



The McMath school year is linear which means that students attend the same classes every other day for the entire year.  The daily timetable is organized in a rotating Day 1 and Day 2 structure. The order of the courses on each day changes each quarter. Each class is 78 minutes in length.  At the end of June there is a formal schedule which includes subject exams, study and “I” removal sessions as well as provincial exams for those enrolled in certain grade 10, 11 and 12 academic subjects.


Reporting and Evaluation

Teachers use a variety of evaluation procedures, which are related to the nature and content of each course.  Report cards are issued in December, March and June. The teacher will initiate interim reports at any time during the school year. Student grades will be reported as letter grades only in grade 8 and 9 and in letter grades and percentages for grades 10 to 12. The breakdown of letter grades used by teachers is listed below: During the course of a term, “I” grades will be clarified and after a defined period of time, converted into either a passing grade or an “F”.  The Ministry of Education is developing a Literacy and Numeracy Assessment.  More information on the Numeracy Assessment to be implemented with grade 11 students in June found here:


   A     86–100%    B     73–85%       C+    67–72%       C   60–66%       C-  50–59%       F      0-49% Fail      I     Incomplete



Student excellence in academics, athletics, fine and performing arts and social responsibility activities is recognized through a formal awards program.  The awards ceremony is held in May or June of each year.