Belleville's Quinte Secondary School Profiled for Literacy Success

    EASTERN ONTARIO, June 10 /CNW/ - The Education Quality and Accountability
Office (EQAO) has selected Belleville's Quinte Secondary School as one of six
publicly-funded high schools of the hundreds across Ontario to profile in the
Provincial Report on the Results of the 2008-2009 Ontario Secondary School
Literacy Test (OSSLT). The profiled schools are noted for their success at
raising their students' literacy skills, as demonstrated by improved OSSLT
scores over the years. In the report, staff members from Quinte Secondary
School discuss what the results of EQAO's testing and other data have taught
them about their students, and the innovative approaches they are using to
address their students' needs.

    Quinte Secondary School, Hastings and Prince Edward District School
    Board, Belleville

    Quinte Secondary School serves a diverse student population of 850,
including Aboriginal and international students, who for the most part have
English as their first language. Although the school is in Belleville, 52% of
its students are bused from rural areas.
    At Quinte, the departmental Literacy Committee analyzes OSSLT and other
EQAO data. The resulting information is used to help teachers refine their
instructional practices to support all students. Although student results on
the OSSLT have improved consistently over time, the 2008 EQAO data highlighted
three areas of concern: reading and making connections, both implicit and
explicit; the gender gap in achievement; and the success of previously
eligible and students with special education needs.
    To address these challenges, the school staff developed several
strategies over the past year. One of them focused on increasing student
motivation by appealing to their interests and giving them choice. To that
end, the school staff decided to personalize the timetables of all Grade 9
students. This tactic turned out to have a positive impact on student
performance and helped boost the credit success rate in both academic and
applied courses.
    "If you personalize a timetable, you can engage students, and if you
engage students, you will increase their learning, which translates to
increased numeracy, increased literacy and better learning for students." Lisa
Vincent, principal
    Over the past several months, EQAO staff visited a number of Ontario's
secondary schools. It was clear to these representatives that educators are
regularly using the results from EQAO testing as a reference point to identify
students in need of support. EQAO's reliable and accurate data support
continuous improvement in schools and boards and in individual students.
    The proactive identification of at-risk students, the alignment and
integration of literacy-focused curricula at both the elementary and the
secondary levels, and 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 2008-2009 OSSLT on its Web site. School communities from across the
province are able to see the results of their efforts to improve the literacy
skills of their students at
    EQAO's Provincial Report and other information are also available online

For further information:

For further information: and to arrange interviews, please contact Katia
Collette, Communications Officer, (416) 212-7047,

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