To: Principals—Elementary and Secondary Schools
Cc: Directors of Education, Superintendents, Board Liaisons—Elementary and Secondary Schools
From: Steven Reid, Chief Assessment Officer
Date: September 12, 2018
EQAO is committed to modernizing its assessment programs to further support students, educators, parents and the province of Ontario. We are also dedicated to reviewing accommodation policies and administration practices to determine what changes could be implemented in the short term. We seek to make changes that are grounded in the principles of equity and inclusion, address educators’ recommendations and maintain the stability required for year-to-year comparisons of EQAO data. Overall, EQAO assessment conditions should be as close as possible to the regular assessment environment that students experience throughout the year.
As an example of our commitment to change, last year we removed the Individual Education Plan (IEP) requirement for students who needed additional time to complete an EQAO assessment. Subsequently, approximately 1500 fewer IEPs were recorded in our Student Data Collection system for students writing the 2018 OSSLT—a 1% and 2% decline in the number of IEPs created by English- and French-language school boards, respectively.
Before additional adjustments are made, we want to provide principals with the opportunity to offer feedback on our proposals. In August, we shared draft changes with district leaders, giving them an opportunity to ask us questions and provide comments. Based on their feedback, we are sending you the proposed updates for this next assessment cycle.
For the 2018–2019 school year, EQAO is preparing to better align with regular settings for classroom assessments, by implementing the following changes.
School personnel will continue to use their professional judgment and make decisions regarding the appropriate use of such materials, tools, technology and resources on a case-by-case basis according to each student’s need and previous use. These practices should be applied in accordance with regular classroom practice (i.e., what the student has typically experienced in regular assessments), and school personnel will be responsible for monitoring the use of these materials, tools, technology and resources during EQAO assessments.
If you have any questions or comments about the proposals above, please share them with us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. by Friday, September 28, 2018. Based on the feedback we receive from principals and our advisory committees, we will send a memorandum later this fall to confirm the parameters of these changes. We will also update all assessment guides accordingly.
Further updates to EQAO accommodation and assessment policies are being considered for 2019–2020 and onward. For your awareness, some of these potential changes include
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for your assistance in supporting these important improvements and for your continued dedication to the students of this province.