2016 School Recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement
2016 School Stories
Toronto District School Board
Student population: 263; Grades: JK–6; Principal: Karen Lim
- Over the last four years, the number of students who have never met the standard in Grade 3 and 6 has declined
- 38% of students’ first language is one other than English
- More than 90% of all students in Grade 6 achieved the provincial standard in reading, writing and mathematics
- Very stable teaching staff.
Centennial Junior Public School is considered to be a small urban school in the southeast of Toronto. It has been a part of the community for over 100 years, when School Section Number 11 (S.S. #11) was formed in 1836 to serve the children living along the Scarborough–Pickering border. The present school opened on October 11, 1946.
EQAO considered schools that:
- had a significant proportion of students who did not meet the provincial math standard in Grade 3 but who improved to meet it when they were in Grade 6 and
- maintained or increased the overall number of students meeting the provincial standard in math.
What is the profile of this school community?
Profile of Grade 3 and Grade 6 Students
Special education needs
English language learners
Born outside Canada
First language learned at home was other than English
“In our home, we have math and English workbooks that we have the kids work on one or two pages almost every day after school. It can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. We also encourage them to tell us what they’ve learned in math that day (if they’ve had it), and if they understand, and work on a few examples if they don’t fully understand. Lastly, we try and use everyday life as teaching examples (e.g., discussing fractions and measurement when baking, learning about money when out shopping).”— Parent
How have the results improved?
The staff at Centennial Junior Public School use EQAO data to help provide a focus for school improvement. They use the EQAO data to look for areas of need and where scores are dropping, as well as report card data, classroom assessments and conversation with students and staff to address student need. They use attitude and behaviour and contextual data to better understand their students’ perspectives on mathematics and the tools they use to solve mathematical problems.
What initiatives have contributed to this improvement?
Co-Planning/Co-Teaching Through a Problem of the Week
At Centennial Junior Public School over the last two years, staff have been leading up to pairing every teacher with a partner to co-plan and co-teach together, in order to support each other’s learning. When approaching a rich math question, students work in mixed-ability groups to communicate their answers. Communication in student answers improved throughout the year.
Making Mathematics Visible—A School-Wide Approach
Centennial Junior PS examines their data closely, looking for areas of need across contextual, attitude and behaviour and academic data. After analyzing their attitudinal data as a staff, they discovered that not all students are enjoying mathematics. Staff decided to make math visible (e.g., math team, special math day, math hub) and relevant to students throughout classrooms and hallways within the school.
The Whole Child
Staff at Centennial Junior PS set high expectations for their students. The staff’s philosophy is that the children are their responsibility; students needing more support are identified by staff, and a positive staff mentor is assigned to the child. The staff support their students academically, socially and emotionally.
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