EQAO Recognizes Six Elementary Schools for Helping Students Improve in Math

School staff put in place effective math strategies informed by provincial-assessment data.

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2017 /CNW/ - The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is recognizing six schools that have effectively used EQAO data to improve math programs and help their students meet the provincial standard.

These schools all have in common a significant proportion of students who did not meet the provincial math standard in Grade 3 but who improved to meet it when they were in Grade 6. These schools also maintained or increased the overall number of students meeting the provincial standard in math.

The joint analysis of EQAO test results, as well as classroom and school-board data, has helped the educators in these schools identify areas requiring attention and support. Educators have used this information to develop impactful instructional strategies that were appropriate to their school's unique circumstances.

Each year, EQAO identifies and celebrates schools that have been using data provided by EQAO to improve student achievement. This informed use of data also helps school staff monitor improvement and guide progress.

The schools profiled by EQAO this year are as follows:

  • Centennial Junior Public School (West Hill)
    School board: Toronto District School Board
    Key strategy: The school's staff examined EQAO's data about students' attitudes toward math and the tools students use to solve math problems. The analysis helped teachers to find new ways to make the subject matter more engaging and relevant to students throughout the school (e.g., math team, special math day, math hub).
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 10% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 75% maintained it (10% never met the standard; 5% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

  • Dunlace Public School (North York)
    School board: Toronto District School Board
    Key strategy: The school's staff examined EQAO data through the lens of equity to help create a level playing field for all students. EQAO data not only drove the Professional Learning Communities at the school, but made staff constantly challenge and reassess their teaching practices and pedagogies, as well as existing stereotypes and biases.
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 6% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 88% maintained it (6% never met the standard; 0% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

  • E. J. James Public School (Oakville)
    School board: Halton District School Board
    Key strategy: The school's staff used EQAO's attitude and behavior survey results in relation to student achievement results, as well as their school board's student engagement survey, to identify goals and determine the best course of action.
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 6% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 89% maintained it (4% never met the standard; 2% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

  • Nelles Public School (Grimsby)
    School board: District School Board of Niagara
    Key strategy: At the school, teachers and administrators looked at the attitudinal and behavioural data on the EQAO Reporting Application. This allowed them to identify a need for increasing positive student attitudes and developing students' growth mindset.
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 14% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 81% maintained it (5% never met the standard; 0% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

  • Pleasantville Public School (Richmond Hill)
    School board: York Region District School Board
    Key strategy: Through extensive examination of EQAO data, report cards and teacher observations, the school's staff were able to identify a specific challenge in the area of student perseverance with open-ended math problems. This analysis helped the staff design support strategies to improve student achievement from an already-strong starting point.
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 6% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 90% maintained it (0% never met the standard; 3% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

  • St. John XXIII Catholic School (Arnprior)
    School board: Renfrew County Catholic DSB
    Key strategy: The entire school's staff gathered at the beginning of the year to examine the previous year's results and discuss strategic planning in mathematics. They looked for gaps in student learning and considered possible programming needs.
    Results: Of the school's students who had written the mathematics component of the test in Grade 3 in their current school, 8% improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 and 88% maintained it (0% never met the standard; 4% dropped). This is considered to be well above the provincial average: respectively 4% who rose to the standard and 46% who maintained it.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • The percentage of students in Grades 3 and 6 who met the provincial math standard has decreased steadily over the past five years in English-language schools.
    • From 2011–2012 to 2015–2016, Grade 3 results in mathematics declined by five percentage points, from 68% of students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard to 63%.
    • From 2011–2012 to 2015–2016, Grade 6 results in mathematics declined by eight percentage points, from 58% of students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard to 50%.
    • The school stories profiled show significant trends in the opposite direction.
  • EQAO test results are used by education system leaders alongside school- or board- level data, to support continuous improvement. EQAO test results have proven to be a catalyst for the betterment of the education system.
  • The type of EQAO data which schools can use for school improvement planning and improved student learning include EQAO test results as well as EQAO's contextual, attitudinal and behavioral data. Schools can also use other sources of data such as classroom assessment results, and other school- or board-level data.
  • EQAO results provide evidence about student achievement that can contribute to system-wide actions, such as the Ministry of Education's math strategy, additional funding for teacher training, reviews of math pedagogy and curriculum, as well as a renewed focus on the math qualifications of new teacher candidates. Schools also use EQAO data to review resource allocations and programming requirements.

 

QUOTE

"I congratulate these six elementary schools for their hard work in getting their students to improve in math. Through the effective use of EQAO test results, classroom and board data, these schools have managed to design strategies tailored to the needs of their students. I hope that the schools being profiled today serve as an inspiration to other schools across Ontario, because the evidence-based strategies they implemented are both innovative and effective."

—Rick Jones, Interim Chief Executive Officer, EQAO

SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office

For further information: Media contact: Katia Collette, Bilingual Communications Officer, 416-325-9902, katia.collette@eqao.com

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