Richmond Hill and Oakville High Schools Profiled for Literacy Success

    Langstaff HS and St. Thomas Aquinas RC serve as models

    GREATER TORONTO AREA, 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 GTA. 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 Langstaff High School in Richmond Hill and
St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic High School in Oakville 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.

    Langstaff High School, Richmond Hill

    From the first administration of the test in 2002 to the one completed
this year, the rate of success among fully participating first-time eligible
students has increased by 14 percentage points, and that among students in
applied classes, by 17 percentage points. "Data from the OSSLT is used to
provide the school with a baseline for student literacy achievement," says
Peter Milovanovic, principal. "We use the information to identify areas of
strength and areas needing improvement. Teachers from the school's literacy
team provide specific resources and professional development to assist staff
in meeting these identified needs. Teachers provide additional after-school
support and instruction for students who may be at risk of not succeeding. In
all subject areas, we focus on providing students with as much support as
possible to develop literacy skills."

    St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic High School, Oakville

    EQAO data revealed that although accommodations were provided, students
with special needs continued to struggle. One of the many initiatives
introduced based on the data was the "Laptop Initiative" - mobile wireless
computer labs providing students with regular and easy access to computers.
"We believe passionately that our Level 1 and Level 2 students should have the
same opportunities as our other students and that we should provide them with
the skills they need. EQAO testing has brought attention and resources to
these students that didn't exist before," says Colin McGillicuddy, 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
    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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