Student population: 325; Grades: JK–8; Principal: Anna Pascolo-Maltby
St. Edmund Separate School has been serving the city of Mississauga since 1959. Many of the students have parents and grandparents that attended St. Edmund's. The school has strong ties to the community and is very active in engaging its community in school initiatives.
"Support from teachers and easy access to technology that I need helps me with math and my learning."
— Grade 8 Student
St. Edmund Separate School has shown tremendously high achievement levels in all components of the EQAO assessments over the past three years. The students have consistently risen to the provincial standard in mathematics from Grade 3 to Grade 6 at a rate of 15% since 2013. Although the school’s Grade 3 achievement levels in mathematics are high, staff continue to find ways to help most of the students who did not meet the math standard when they were in Grade 3 to improve to meet it in Grade 6.
"The St. Edmund’s Family Math Night was a great chance to meet with teachers and other parents and see math in action. The way math is taught today may be different from the experience many parents had, so it’s great to understand how math is being taught today. It’s important that we, as parents, understand how we can support our students to help them learn and succeed. In particular, the focus on everyday math skills is essential, because our kids need to understand early that math is not just a school skill, it’s a life skill."
— Patricia Meehan, School Council Chair
There is a strong belief that everyone in the community is a teacher. Staff, family and community workers co-educate, co-learn and co-create opportunities for everyone. All members of the community are valued and trusted.
Anna Pascolo-Maltby, Principal
"At St. Edmund, we have shifted our mindset from the traditional classroom model—teacher as educator, students as learner—to a community of co-educators, co-learners and co-creators.
We benefit from a strong sense of community here at St. Edmund. The key to our success is harnessing the power of community.
We believe that EVERYONE in our community becomes the teacher.
Our classrooms and staff have cultivated a co-learning stance.
Our classroom staff are open to having our special-assignment teacher in the classroom on a regular basis in a co-teach/co-plan format.
A regular part of any of our classrooms include three-part math lessons and collaborative inquiries in science or social studies, where students become co-educators.
We regularly invite parents to share their expertise, whether it is an artist doing an art lesson with students, a dental hygienist speaking on oral health or a vet showing students how to grow bacteria in a petri dish.
Our Catholic School Council closely links with our school improvement plan. They support and help facilitate initiatives like Family Math Night, teacher appreciation, community wellness and funding efforts to help to ensure all our students are connected with technology. All of this helps build community and supports student achievement."
Students at St. Edmund are assessed for learning to determine the best possible course of action to ensure that all students’ needs are addressed. The process begins in June, when students are placed in groups according to their needs and the human resources available to support them in the upcoming school year. Programs are set up throughout the year to address the specific needs determined.
Gráinne Maddison, Special Education Resource Teacher
"In order to set goals, we access various data sources about our staff, our students and our community.
We use student climate surveys, teacher-input boards, EQAO, PM Benchmarks, CASI, teacher notes and OSRs.
Classroom teachers provide benchmarks at transition meetings in June, and we take a careful look at how we place students and consider what the model of support might look like the following year.
We balance our classrooms and reflect on special-education-resource-teacher and class-support allocations.
Gaps in student learning are carefully considered, and resource teachers plan with the classroom teachers in order to support language and math literacy instruction throughout the morning.
Decoding and comprehension skills are addressed through the LLI program. If there are identified needs specific to mathematics—usually in the area of number sense—blocks of time are dedicated throughout the week to direct instruction of these concepts.
We have a resource model with direct one-to-one instruction, small groups and individualized classroom support for the junior and intermediate grades that encourages access to assistive technology to make curriculum more accessible.
Our intensive junior-level special-education classroom has created an environment where consistency with the same resource classroom teacher over a three-year period is combined with a seamless transition plan that encourages continued drop-in access to resource support.
Classroom teachers and resource staff work together to plan and deliver Ministry initiatives and have a solid understanding of curriculum, whether linked to the IEP or regular programming."
Internal and external resources are called upon to augment regular school programming at St. Edmund. Volunteers are valued for the skills that they bring to the school, and all volunteers are educators to the students—not just “classroom helpers.” Outside resources that are brought in are focused and have a clear plan as to their role in improving student learning.
Joanne Romano, Grades 7 and 8 Teacher
"We look for creative ways to use internal and external human resources at our school to augment our program. We access outside resources such as university student teachers, ECE college students, high school co-op students and community volunteers.
Classroom and resource teachers plan and train collaboratively with their placement students on how to best support and deliver curriculum.
These student teachers are made aware of the need for differentiated instruction and the diversity of the learners in their placement classrooms.
On any given day, if you walk into our school, it is not unusual to see our hallways and pod areas spilling over with students engaged with a student Early Childhood Educator or community volunteer.
By accessing these particular human resources, we are able to overcome challenges, bridge gaps and provide a toolkit of strategies that benefit not only our learners, but also the student educators as they complete their placements."
Joanne Roddy-Rodrigues, Special Assignment Teacher
"As the special-assignment teacher, my role has been to help guide teacher practice.
Some initiatives include the organization, maintenance and distribution of math manipulatives, and meeting with Grades 3 and 6 teachers in September to assess needs and goals.
I support in assisting, developing and understanding of curriculum beyond the textbook. We co-ordinate math PD every year to align with school goals.
In January and May, we coordinate sessions of gap closing in math for students at risk using PRIME, not only as a diagnostic assessment, but also as a teaching tool in EQAO."
Mary Beth St. Louis, Grade 1 Teacher
"We are a staff that constantly revisits our practice. We observe successes and respond to challenges using our formal and informal data sources. At St. Edmund, we definitely continue to foster a growth mindset. We value the importance of a responsive classroom. We firmly believe community is the teacher, and everyone is the student."
School Profile and Results
EQAO Celebrates Five Ontario Elementary Schools for Their Math Strategies That Work