Maxwell Heights Secondary School

Map of Ontario displaying the City of Oshawa

2018 School Recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement

Data and Schools: A Journey of Learning

Student population: 1652; Grades: 9–12
  • The Maxwell Heights Secondary School community is very diverse. Many families are new to the area. Some families have moved from larger urban centres, and some families are new to Canada.
  • Parents and guardians are very involved with their children’s transition to high school. About 85 per cent of parents and guardians attend the first day of school with their Grade 9 students.
“We believe all students can learn mathematics. They need to be taught the foundation knowledge and skills explicitly and cumulatively by teachers who care about math and have strong subject knowledge.”
— Department Head of Mathematics

Analysis

  1. Transition Planning: At the beginning of the school year, educators review individual students’ Grades 3 and 6 EQAO results to support students through interventions and gap closing.
  2. Groups of Interest: Administrators and teachers review the EQAO data, looking at how specific groups have performed and comparing their results to the overall board and provincial results.
  3. Informing Instruction: Next, the detailed EQAO Item Information Report is reviewed to compare board results to the school’s results on specific questions. Observations inform instruction with future cohorts.
  4. Moderated Marking: Following the administration of the EQAO Grade 9 math assessment, the math team moderates the marking of the entire assessment. Teachers look for patterns and trends in student performance to help them identify areas of strength and gaps in skills or knowledge. In response, teachers adjust their teaching strategies to fill in the gaps for the following semester or subsequent year.

Action

One Class for All

Maxwell Heights’ Grade 9 math classes consist of both applied and academic-level students. Multi-level math classes allow for peer modelling and peer mentoring, which help to maintain a learning-focused classroom environment. Students benefit from the combined-level structure, as indicated by increasing percentages of students performing at or above the provincial standard. Teachers have also indicated that the learning-focused culture of the classroom has had a positive effect on all students.

Common Assessments and Moderated Marking

A common assessment is administered at the start of the Grade 9 math course to inform teacher instruction and to allow students to set goals for themselves. This is followed by cumulative assessment at mid-term. This allows teachers to possibly replace some marks from Term 1 assessments if they see student growth in any particular skills. The team of Grade 9 math teachers are released to mark the EQAO Grade 9 math assessment. To ensure fairness and equity each teacher is assigned a particular question to assess for all students. Each question is discussed to inform teacher practice and improve curriculum delivery. The diagnostic assessment administered at the beginning of the course and the EQAO Grade 9 math assessment both allow teachers to monitor and measure student learning over the entire year.

Grade 9

Sudbury Secondary School, Rainbow District School Board
Maxwell Heights Secondary School, Durham District School Board
M.M. Robinson High School, Halton District School Board
Elmira District Secondary School, Waterloo Region District School Board
St. Francis Xavier High School, Ottawa Catholic District School Board
John McCrae Secondary School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Kenner Collegiate Vocational Institute, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, Sudbury Catholic District School Board

Elementary Schools

Pine Grove Public School, District School Board of Niagara
St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Sister Catherine Donnelly Catholic School, Simcoe County District School Board
St. Matthew Catholic School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Fleming Public School, Toronto District School Board
Springbrook Public School, Peel District School Board
Byron Southwood Public School, Thames Valley District School Board

OSSLT

Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Lakehead District School Board
South Carleton High School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Holy Names Catholic High School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, Toronto District School Board

Elementary Schools

McKellar Park Central School, Lakehead District School Board
St. Dominic Savio Catholic School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
St. Bernadette Catholic School, Durham Catholic District School Board
Beverley Heights Middle School, Toronto District School Board
Pius XII Catholic Elementary, Sudbury Catholic District School Board
Sir William Gage Middle School, Peel District School Board
St. Martin School, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
D. Roy Kennedy Public School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Grade 9

Maple High School, York Region District School Board
Essex District High School, Greater Essex County District School Board
Mississauga Secondary School, Peel District School Board
Governor Simcoe Secondary School, District School Board of Niagara
Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Earl Haig Secondary School, Toronto District School Board

Elementary Schools

St. Edmund Separate School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Pleasantville Public School, York Region District School Board
Nelles Public School, District School Board of Niagara
St. Luke Catholic Elementary School, Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
St. Aloysius Catholic Elementary School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Centennial Road Junior Public School, Toronto District School Board
Dunlace Public School, Toronto District School Board
St. John XXIII Catholic School, Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
E. J. James Public School, Halton District School Board

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