Sault St. Marie and Timmins High Schools Profiled for Literacy Success



    Michipicoten HS and O'Gorman HS serve as models

    NORTHEASTERN 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 northeastern 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 Michipicoten High School in
Wawa and O'Gorman High School in Timmins 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.

    Michipicoten High School, Wawa

    EQAO data and data from several other sources showed that students were
challenged when asked to read for implicit meaning. Teachers across all
subject areas began to develop and include questions in their lessons that
required an understanding of implicit information. Students learned to take
the time to identify critical information. A similar approach was taken in
exercises involving writing a newspaper article or opinion piece. "This school
is very much committed to building literacy skills, because our ultimate goal
is to ensure every student succeeds in their future. Consequently, staff see
the benefit of integrating literacy tasks into the curriculum and
assessments," says Gord Mowat, principal.

    O'Gorman High School, Timmins

    The staff at O'Gorman reviewed EQAO and other data and determined that
reading was an area of challenge for their students, so they introduced the
Literacy Power Program for Grades 7-10. To ensure the success of the program,
the school purchased the resources to support the professional development to
deliver it through the Student Success initiative. Staff also ensured that the
literacy skills assessed by the OSSLT were integrated into the program. "Our
entire staff work together... It is the combination of staff collaboration and
staff delivery of professional development in collaboration with our student
success leader that has been a catalyst for the success of our students in
credit accumulation and on the OSSLT," says John D'Alessandri, principal.
    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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