Guelph's St. James Catholic High School Profiled for Literacy Success

    GREATER TORONTO AREA, June 10 /CNW/ - The Education Quality and
Accountability Office (EQAO) has selected Guelph's St. James Catholic High
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 St.
James 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.

    St. James Catholic High School, Wellington Catholic District School
    Board, Guelph

    St. James Catholic High School serves 1100 students from Grades 9 to 12
in the city of Guelph. The demographics of the school have remained constant
over the past five years. Ten percent of the student population has been
identified as having special education needs.
    Having examined EQAO data over time in the context of classroom and other
achievement data, the staff at St. James identified the gaps in the
achievement of students in applied courses and those with special education
needs as the greatest area of challenge.
    As part of its improvement plan and to address these challenges, the
school launched a new initiative in 2008-2009, the Collaborative Action
Research Team, with a goal to further support the cross-curricular approach to
classroom instruction by providing teachers with common resource materials to
use. Once developed, the resources were distributed to the Grades 9 and 10
teachers to embed in their instruction to support and improve the literacy
skills and confidence of their students. This in-house initiative was well
received by the staff.
    "With a varied mix of experience, age, education and subject-specific
expertise, teachers were able to bring new approaches and current thinking to
their discussions.... From an administrator's viewpoint, I want staff to know
that I believe in the importance of interdepartmental sharing." Peter Ingram,
    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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