2016 school stories showcase schools that introduced math programs that have helped their students excel.
TORONTO, June 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Five Ontario elementary schools are being profiled by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) in 2016 for their success in developing mathematics programs that have helped their students meet the provincial standard.
The schools—three from the English-language school system and two from the French—are notable for their success in helping their students who had not met the provincial mathematics standard when they were in Grade 3 to improve to meet it in Grade 6.
Additionally, these students were not the exception but rather part of the schools' broader trend of helping a significant proportion of their students meet the math standard.
EQAO data helped the educators in these schools uncover areas of need. Educators used this information when developing high-yield strategies that were appropriate to their particular context.
The schools profiled by EQAO this year are as follows:
- St. Luke Catholic Elementary School (North Bay)
School board: Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
Key strategy: St. Luke educators use EQAO data to identify areas of need in mathematics and to help determine students' mindsets and attitudes. A junior-division continuum has been created by the school board's staff, mapping out a teaching plan for teachers from Grades 4 to 6. Concepts are built upon and reinforced throughout the year, rather than taught chapter by chapter.
Results: In 2013, 17% of St. Luke's students who had not met the provincial math standard in Grade 3 improved to meet it in Grade 6. In 2015, that percentage rose to 33%.
- St. Edmund Separate School (Mississauga)
School board: Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Key strategy: EQAO data, in conjunction with other reports, are used by educators to set goals and determine support and resource structures. The process begins in June, when students are grouped according to their needs and the human resources that will be available to support them in the upcoming school year. Throughout the year, programs are set up to address specific needs as they emerge. The school's robust co-education structure also leverages the experience of community volunteers (e.g., parents, Early Childhood Education program students) to help contribute to student learning.
Results: In 2013, 7% of St. Edmund's students who had not met the provincial math standard in Grade 3 improved to meet it in Grade 6. In 2015, that percentage rose to 29%.
- St. Aloysius Catholic Elementary School (Kitchener)
School board: Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Key strategy: Educators use EQAO data, in conjunction with classroom assessment data, to confirm gaps in student learning in mathematics. For example, in Grade 6, students review EQAO sample tests, analyzing the questions, answers, codes and scoring samples in order to gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics of a good math answer. Students gain the confidence to analyze their work themselves and guide their own learning. Moreover, educators have found that the self-assessment and critical-thinking skills are also used in other subject areas.
Results: In 2013, the St. Aloysius students who had not met the provincial math standard in Grade 3 also did not meet it in Grade 6. In 2015, 20% of the students who didn't meet the math standard in Grade 3 improved to meet it in Grade 6.
- École élémentaire publique Charlotte-Lemieux (Ottawa)
School board: Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
Key strategy: EQAO data help Charlotte-Lemieux teachers identify their students' strengths and weaknesses. One of the school's initiatives is a mathematics program that groups students based on multiple sources of achievement data and provides supplementary instruction to ensure that students are fully understanding concepts. This program, which is run in successive 8-week blocks, draws on the support of the classroom teacher, student success lead and resource teacher and provides all students 50 additional minutes of mathematics instruction each week.
Results: In 2013, 15% of Charlotte-Lemieux students who had not met the provincial math standard in Grade 3 improved to meet it in Grade 6. In 2015, that percentage rose to 17%.
- École élémentaire catholique Saint-Noël-Chabanel (Toronto)
School board: Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud
Key strategy: EQAO data are among a select group of resources used by educators at Saint-Noël-Chabanel to create teaching strategies that target students' mathematics challenges. Specifically, the data helped support the use of triangulated evidence (observations, conversations, productions,) to track how well students are learning mathematics concepts. Co-constructing success criteria also provides students with tools to self-assess their own level of comprehension, to set goals and to plan next steps for their learning.
Results: In 2013, 30% of Saint-Noël-Chabanel students who had not met the provincial math standard in Grade 3 improved to meet it in Grade 6. In 2015, that percentage rose to 43%.
- This year's profiled school stories highlight Catholic and French-language elementary schools. Due to labour disruptions in 2015, EQAO's provincial assessments were not administered in English-language public elementary schools.
- EQAO reports have revealed that from 2009–2010 to 2013–2014, provincial Grade 3 mathematics results declined by four percentage points, and Grade 6 results declined by seven percentage points in English-language schools. These school stories show significant trends in the opposite direction.
- EQAO results have provided evidence about student achievement that has contributed to system-wide actions, such as the Ministry of Education's newly launched 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.
- Each year, EQAO identifies and celebrates schools that have been using data to improve student achievement. The outcomes at these schools show how good information can help education-system professionals identify areas for improvement in their programs. EQAO shares these stories so that other schools throughout Ontario can learn about successful practices.
"The schools EQAO has identified this year are once again wonderful examples of how good information in the hands of expert educators can help address the critical education issues of the day. These schools are determined to help all of their students succeed, and the information provided by EQAO is one of the important sources of evidence that these schools are using to help them meet that goal."
—Bruce Rodrigues, Chief Executive Officer, EQAO
EQAO's assessments measure student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations. The resulting data provide accountability and a gauge of quality in Ontario's publicly funded education system. By providing this important evidence about learning, EQAO acts as a catalyst for increasing the success of Ontario students.
The objective and reliable results from EQAO's assessments complement the information obtained from classroom and other assessments to provide students, parents, teachers and administrators with a clear and comprehensive picture of student achievement and a basis for targeted improvement planning at the individual, school, school board and provincial levels. EQAO helps build capacity for the appropriate use of data by providing resources that educators, parents, policy-makers and others in the education community can use to improve learning and teaching. EQAO distributes an individual report to each student who writes an assessment, and posts school, school board and provincial results on its Web site.
SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office
For further information: Media contact: Natalia Williams, Senior Communications Officer, 416-325-9902, [email protected]