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In order to ensure that the test is administered consistently and fairly, EQAO publishes guides for schools to follow. The guides outline in detail what is expected of educators involved in the administration of the test, including
During the test, students must work independently to answer the multiple-choice and open-response questions in a quiet environment supervised by teachers trained to administer the test.
Quality assurance procedures help to ensure that the test produces valid and reliable data. EQAO follows a number of procedures that ensure parents, educators, students and the public can have confidence in the reliability and validity of the data the agency reports. These include
Actions that breach EQAO test-administration procedures and test security may affect item and student-response validity. EQAO will release individual student, school or board achievement results only if it is confident in the quality and integrity of the data. When EQAO has reason to believe that the integrity of the data has been compromised, the school and/or board administration will be asked for additional information. If the additional information suggests that further action is required, the school and/or board may be required to investigate. If irregularities in test administration or breaches of test security are confirmed by the investigation at the local level, one or more of the following actions may be taken:
Examples of actions that breach EQAO test-administration procedures and test security include but are not limited to
Successful completion of the OSSLT is a requirement for students who entered Grade 9 in September 2000 or later and are working toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Students can also meet this requirement through the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), but must have had at least two opportunities to take the test (at the principal’s discretion, this may be reduced to one) and have been unsuccessful on the test at least once (refer to
Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements ).
Ensure that all students eligible for the test are accounted for, including those who are English language learners as defined by English Language Learners: ESL and ELD Programs and Services: Policies and Procedures for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2007) and those with special education needs, even if the students are to be deferred or exempted or plan to fulfill the requirement through the OSSLC.
Note: Previously eligible students who plan to fulfill the graduation requirement through the OSSLC during the school year must be accounted for in the SDC process.
In case of an emergency, tell the students to leave all test materials on their desk and to exit immediately according to the school’s emergency exit plan. When the students return, instruct them to return to the test.
Student Punctuality and Absenses
The school’s late policy for exams will determine admittance of late students to the testing room. EQAO’s reports will deem students to be absent if there is no work for one or both sessions of the administration.
In the case of an absence, another teacher, supervised by the principal, may administer the test. The teacher must be familiar with the administration procedures and must follow them. He or she must be provided with a copy of How to Administer the OSSLT. The teacher must have the opportunity to have the procedures clarified.
Under provincial law, persons dealing with children, including teachers, teaching assistants and principals, have a duty to report suspicions of child abuse to the Children’s Aid Society. According to the Child and Family Services Act, the duty to report also applies where there are reasonable grounds to suspect patterns of child neglect.
If a teacher, non-teaching staff member, principal or person working as a scribe has reasonable grounds to suspect child abuse or neglect, he or she is obligated to report any suspicion and the information on which it is based directly to the Children’s Aid Society. When reporting to the Children’s Aid Society, send only the student’s writing linked to the suspicion of abuse or neglect. Notify EQAO at 1-888-327-7377 at the same time, indicating which portion of the test is in question. Do not send the Children’s Aid Society any part of the preprinted test, including the writing prompt. If they require more information, they will contact EQAO.
EQAO has procedures in place to facilitate scorers’ reporting of suspicions of child abuse.
Student work that contains offensive (e.g., obscene or racist) language or graphic depictions will be reported to the principal, so that appropriate action can be taken at the school level. Pages with offensive content may not be scored.
EQAO will provide an Individual Student Report (ISR) for each student who participated in the OSSLT, following the test administration. A copy will also be provided for the student’s school record. The ISR will indicate whether the student has successfully completed the test. Samples of student work will be available on the EQAO Web site, www.eqao.com, to assist in the interpretation of EQAO reports. Each district school board or school authority will receive school, board and provincial results. EQAO will also report on student achievement at the board and provincial levels in the Provincial Report.
Field-test questions are embedded in the student booklets. Students will have different versions of these embedded questions. These questions will not be included in the students’ scores. However, it is important that students give them the same effort they give the other parts of the test.
A principal may request permission for a student to write the OSSLT at an alternative location when the student is in his or her graduating year or when there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., expulsion, illness) resulting in the student’s inability to write at the school at which he or she is registered. The request for approval must be submitted to EQAO six weeks prior to the administration of the test. (The required form, “Request for Approval to Administer the Test at an Alternative Location,” is located on the secure section of the EQAO Web site.)
The start time of the test may be delayed for up to one hour due to unforeseen circumstances affecting a group of students (e.g., bus delay, weather conditions) at the principal’s discretion. If the start of the administration will be delayed for more than one hour, the principal must call EQAO at 1-888-327-7377.