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School Stories—On the Journey of Learning

Observations from the Field

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, 2011–2012

Over the past few months, EQAO has visited a number of secondary schools to learn about their successful practices, so that they can be shared with schools across the province. Engaging with the education community in this manner has allowed EQAO to learn about strategies being used to support student achievement in literacy.

In celebration of this spirit of achievement, EQAO has profiled five publicly funded Ontario secondary schools. The schools have been identified, in collaboration with their board of education, because of the notable improvement in their OSSLT results over time, their location in the province and any challenging circumstances they face. These schools are recognized for their success in improving the literacy skills of their students.

Each school team shares what EQAO and other data have taught it about its students and the innovative approaches it is using to address areas for improvement.

Several common themes emerged throughout the visits, including the following:

  • Principals and teachers have become more adept at using results from EQAO assessments and other data to identify the educational needs of all students and to guide their interventions for those struggling. Throughout the province, there has been a strong emphasis on early identification, on support for at-risk students and on lowering deferral rates.
  • All secondary teachers are committed to literacy, as demonstrated by their efforts to work in collaborative teams to improve student literacy achievement.
  • Schools’ initiatives to engage parents have resulted in an increase in parental involvement, which has had a positive effect on student success.
  • Cross-panel dialogue to analyze EQAO and classroom data, engage in moderated marking, and share and refine instructional and assessment practices is contributing to improved student learning. A culture of high expectations and a focus on building relationships are priorities.

The school profiles on the following pages are just a few of the many remarkable and inspiring stories across Ontario’s publicly funded school system. EQAO is pleased to highlight the accomplishments of these school teams and celebrate their exemplary work.

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