The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has received the latest EQAO assessment data and overall, UCDSB students have achieved modest gains in areas of reading and writing, while reflecting the provincial trends in math. The UCDSB sees these achievements as steps in the right direction.
Each year, these assessments offer insight on how Ontario students are performing in terms of the provincial standard for achievement. Level 3 is the provincial standard, which is a B- to a B+ in elementary grading or a 70 – 79 per cent at the secondary level. The results show the percentage of students that are meeting or surpassing the level 3 standard.
For the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, 72 per cent of UCDSB students achieved a level 3, which was an increase of 3 per cent over the previous year’s results.
At the Grade 6 level, the school board saw significant gains in the skill and confidence of students in language. Writing results increased to 78 per cent, up from 75 per cent. Although Grade 6 Reading results decreased one point to 79 per cent, the number of students who said they “sometimes” or “most of the time” make sure they understand what they are reading jumped nine points to 81 per cent.
EQAO results for Grade 3 Writing decreased by two points to 65 per cent, but Reading results are on a four-year upward trend with 72 per cent of students attaining the provincial standard.
The Grade 9 Academic Math results are unchanged from the last results, at 77 per cent. The UCDSB has seen a steady increase in this area for the last five years. In Grade 9 Applied Math, the school board saw a slight dip to 40 per cent, but is optimistic as another 17 per cent are achieving a high level 2, approaching level 3. Provincially, 44 per cent of students are meeting the provincial standard of level 3.
In Grade 6 Math, 37 per cent of students are meeting the provincial standard, which is 2 per cent lower than last year’s findings. However, there are another 15 per cent that are achieving a high level 2, approaching the provincial standard.
Attitudes towards math in Grade 6 have improved significantly with 94 per cent of students saying they like math, which is up from 86 per cent; and 100 per cent of students said they can “sometimes” or “most of the time” answer a difficult math question, which is up from 88 per cent.
“Research indicates that students’ attitudes toward math are linked to long-term achievement, and the fact that students are feeling more confident in their skills and indicating that they enjoy math are steps in the right direction,” says Bill Loshaw, Acting Superintendent of Schools. “We’re also encouraged by the number of students who are approaching the provincial standard, and we realize that more work needs to be done in math at all levels.”
Math at the Grade 3 level is proving to be a challenge for students with 50 per cent of UCDSB students achieving the provincial standard. These results correspond with what is happening across the province, with just 58 per cent achieving the level 3 standard.
Plan of Action
“We are encouraged by the modest gains made by our students in specific areas of the 2018-2019 provincial assessment. We know that our students give their very best effort when addressing any learning activity and/or assessment task while at school – including the EQAO assessment. Our school district will use all of the results that we have received from 2018-2019 to further our focus on student learning and student achievement, by supporting our teachers and schools in delivering the curriculum,” says Stephen Sliwa, Director of Education.
Each school has their own School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (SIPSAW) and the school board has an over-arching Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (BIPSAW). EQAO data is one source of information that is used to build these plans.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the BIPSAW includes the following action items to help improve student achievement:
- Continue to build educator efficacy in creating engaging learning experiences with students in both math and literacy; and
- Infuse number fluency into all areas of learning and a continued focus on Fundamentals of Mathematics.
- Improve assessment and feedback practices so that students can use these as learning opportunities.
“As a public school board, we aim to prepare all students for a successful life, and guide students down their own path of learning. We see our students succeed and be challenged each day in their daily learning and through these annual assessments. Our staff work hard all year long to help students be successful and we are proud of what they accomplish each school year,” says Chair of the Board John McAllister.