Geraldton and Thunder Bay High Schools Profiled for Literacy Success

    Geraldton Composite HS and St. Ignatius SS serve as models

    NORTHWESTERN 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 northwestern 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 Geraldton Composite High
School in Geraldton and St. Ignatius High School in Thunder Bay 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.

    Geraldton Composite High School, Geraldton

    The staff at Geraldton examined the test results and, in consultation
with the students, developed activities and approaches to address specific
areas for improvement such as reading and following instructions, using basic
grammar conventions and providing supporting details in written responses.
"Our improvement comes from a cross-curricular and school-wide approach to
literacy. Staff were instrumental in implementing professional learning
communities to develop literacy skills because they recognized literacy as an
essential skill for students," says Fred Simonaitis, principal.

    St. Ignatius High School, Thunder Bay

    The staff launched a program in which every Grade 9 subject teacher
includes a minimum of three lessons addressing literacy skills in their
curriculum to provide Grade 9 students with greater exposure to literacy
activities. Each lesson is then incorporated into a classroom assessment that,
in combination with other data, identifies students who require additional
help, which can continue into Grade 10 if required. Principal Pino Tassone
says, "Built into our model are blocks of time to review and continually track
what we learn from EQAO and classroom data to ensure we support students in
their areas of need, when they need it."
    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
    EQAO's provincial report and other information are available online at

    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,

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