Lindsay and Peterborough High Schools Profiled for Literacy Success



    I.E. Weldon SS and Holy Cross SS serve as models

    CENTRAL ONTARIO, June 13 /CNW/ - Of the hundreds of publicly funded
schools across Ontario, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
has selected 12 to profile in the Provincial Report on the Results of the
2006-2007 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Two of these schools
are in the central region. They are noted for their success at raising their
students' literacy skills, as demonstrated by improved student OSSLT scores
over the years. In the report, staff from I. E. Weldon Secondary School in
Lindsay and Holy Cross Secondary School in Peterborough discuss what the
results of EQAO's testing and other data have taught them about their
students, and the innovative approaches staff are using to address their
students' needs.

    Holy Cross Secondary School, Peterborough

    "At Holy Cross, the entire school community takes ownership of and shares
a responsibility for setting all our students up for success-and that's
cross-curricular," says Tim Moloney, principal. Holy Cross's staff came
together to focus on literacy, which has prompted such action as emphasizing
active reading, a strategy involving such approaches as underlining,
highlighting and note taking, in all subject areas and creating
test-preparation tools that allow for more than one way to master a skill.
Students also may choose from a variety of texts that take gender differences
into account.

    I. E. Weldon Secondary School, Lindsay

    One of the strategies staff from I.E. Weldon have implemented is early
identification of at-risk students coming out of Grade 8, which involves
elementary students writing a 20-minute literacy test. "This initiative has
provided us with extremely useful data, and it shows our elementary schools
that we are whole-heartedly interested in working together on helping our kids
be as successful as possible," says Bruce Barrett, principal. In addition, the
staff at I. E. Weldon noticed that boys were three times more likely to be
unsuccessful on the OSSLT than girls. In response, the school is currently
pilot testing an all-male Grade 9 applied English class that uses materials
that are of high appeal to boys. Already, the school is seeing improvements.

    Over the past several months EQAO staff visited approximately 70 of
Ontario's secondary schools, and it's clear that educators are regularly using
the results from EQAO testing as a reference point to identify students in
need of support. The reliable and accurate data from EQAO supports continuous
improvement in schools and boards and for individual students.
    Proactive identification of at-risk students, aligning and integrating
literacy-focused curriculum at both the elementary and the secondary levels,
and ensuring a literacy focus across all subject areas are just some of the
strategies that schools across Ontario are using to ensure the success of
their students.
    Today, EQAO published Ontario-wide school- and board-level results from
the 2006-2007 OSSLT on its Web site. School communities from across the
province are able to see the results of their collective efforts to improve
the literacy skills of their students on www.eqao.com.
    EQAO's provincial report and other information are available online at
www.eqao.com.

    Aussi disponible en français.





For further information:

For further information: and to arrange interviews, please contact Phil
Serruya, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs, (416) 325-2230,
phil.serruya@eqao.com

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Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

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