SIMCOE MUSKOKA CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
SIMCOE COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released its province-wide testing results for school boards and schools. The results for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) are as follows:
- Grade 3 reading - 67 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 3 writing - 72 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 3 mathematics - 57 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 6 reading - 78 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 6 writing - 76 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 6 mathematics - 42 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 9 applied mathematics - 31 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Grade 9 academic mathematics - 74 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test first time eligible students - 79 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
- Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test previously eligible students - 51 percent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
In response to the downward trend in mathematics results across the entire province, the Ministry of Education just released a renewed math strategy, which will be implemented for students in all grades beginning this year.
Both provincial and international assessments show that students understand basic math concepts, but need help applying their knowledge and skills to solve problems - this is also true of elementary students at SMCDSB.
In addition, at the secondary level, the SMCDSB recognized the need to refocus efforts on Grade 9 applied mathematics, resulting in a new board-wide math program called ICAN math, which was launched last year.
"We know that our students and staff work extremely hard all year, in every subject area, and we are particularly proud of those students who spend many hours writing the EQAO test each spring - they put a lot of effort into their work and they should be commended," said Brian Beal, Director of Education.
"We recognize that in some cases our board and school results are lower than we may have anticipated, but I think it is extremely important for parents, students and staff to understand that EQAO is only one tool we use to measure student outcomes. EQAO is useful to help identify trends so that the province and the school board can put programs and strategies in place, enabling every student to achieve to their God-given ability."
"The vast majority of our students who are currently not meeting the provincial standard are very close to where they need to be - that is, they are at the high end of level 2 and approaching the provincial standard (level 3). We continue to provide professional development to staff and implement literacy and numeracy programs and supports so that those students do meet or exceed the province's expected standards."
For more information about Ontario's renewed math strategy, please visit here.
Full results of the 2015-16 Grade 3 and 6 EQAO tests, Grade 9 Math Test and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) were released by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) today. The Simcoe County District School Board’s (SCDSB) five-year trend remains positive in primary reading, and primary and junior reading and writing. Math scores have declined. OSSLT has also declined this year.
“Our success rates on last year’s tests do not reflect what I know our students can achieve,” says Kathi Wallace, Director of Education. “Our focus now is on how we best support teachers—of all grades—so, collectively, we can ensure our students are prepared to demonstrate their learning on these tests.”
School and board staff analyze EQAO data together with other assessment, well-being and engagement data to understand students and their needs.
Notes Wallace, “EQAO data is one part of a much larger set of data that we review. We don’t just look at achievement data—engagement and well-being are equally important. We need students to want to be in school, and to be interested in and connected to what they’re learning. And it’s that desire to learn that will lead to future success in life.”
Last year, the Ministry of Education announced a Renewed Math Strategy. The strategy includes additional funding for school boards and focuses on professional learning to increase support for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
The Ministry also announced last year that the OSSLT will now be online. Students will complete the test at school on school computers. All eligible students will write the test on Oct. 20, 2016. Students who are successful on the Oct. 20 test will have met the graduation requirement. Students who are not successful in October can write the test again on March 30, 2017 either online or on paper. The October test will not count as a failed attempt. A sample test is available for students to preview and practice.
Notes Wallace, “We know some staff, students and parents feel pressure at EQAO time. These tests are different than other methods we use to assess students. For example, teachers aren’t able to provide the same level of support to help students work through their thinking. So our challenge is finding ways to prepare our students to show their learning when they’re writing these tests. This work is happening now in each secondary school to prepare for the Oct. 20 OSSLT.
“Regardless of how people feel about EQAO, the tests are important—they provide critical information for planning within our own schools and board, and at the provincial level. The OSSLT is also a graduation requirement for students. We want students to be successful on their first attempt so they don’t need to write the test a second time, or forgo another senior credit in order to take the Literacy Course that is offered as an alternative.”