Mississauga Secondary School

2016 School Recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement

Mississauga Secondary School, Peel District School Board

Student population: 1300; Grades: 9–12; Principal: Giota Woods

  • Mississauga Secondary School is an urban school with a large population of English language learners.
  • The school has approximately 110 students with special needs, including those in a treatment, research and education program for students with autism and developmental disorders.
  • Several health and wellness programs have forged strong community partnerships.
Punitha Kandasamy, Sarbjit Singh, Joanne Milligan, Giota Woods, Grace Wallace

Mississauga Secondary School has a diverse student population; over 27% of the students report that they speak another language other than English at home. The school has designed an applied level mathematics course specifically for English language learners that focuses on mathematic terminology. The math and science departments work closely together to use the same problem-solving terminology to provide consistency for their students.

“Teachers are available for extra help at lunch and post their schedules, and they can also go to Counting on You or the Mississauga Secondary School initiative for help.”
— Student

Selection Criteria

To be considered, schools had to have

  • a program in applied Grade 9 mathematics, as this program was the focus of the selection;
  • a minimum of two sections of students in applied mathematics in 2016 (with a total number of students greater than 30);
  • results showing increases in five consecutive years in the number of students reaching the provincial standard in applied mathematics and
  • results in academic mathematics that were close to, at or above the provincial average and that improved or were relatively stable over the same five-year period.
“Math in secondary school will likely go beyond the parents’ ability to support the learning and application of content, so the parents need to encourage their child(ren) to seek extra help from teachers, self-advocate for individual needs and learning gaps, and/or access Counting On You for in-school math support. Parents can help their child(ren) by encouraging their own instructional support through Web sites like the Khan Academy. In addition, parents should encourage their child(ren)to complete all the homework as assigned, be aware of what has been assigned and provide a well-lit working space close to parents at home for their child(ren) to be able to do their work, and parents to be part of the homework work habits. “
— Parent

What is the profile of this school community?

Profile of Grade 9 Students

ACADEMIC
APPLIED
Female
42%
51%
Male
58%
49%
English language learners
24%
44%
Special education needs
2%
22%
Speaks primarily a language other than English at home
11%
9%

How have the results improved?

Over several years, the Mississauga Secondary team worked with partner schools to analyze Grades 6 and 9 EQAO data, look for similarities and differences in results and highlight math strands requiring focus. Together, Mississauga Secondary and its feeder schools developed lessons and strategies for working with students and observed Grades 6 to 10 classes. EQAO results helped determine the numeracy goals of the school success plan. The plan called for additional support to increase the engagement of female learners in the applied course and extra attention to English language learners, which resulted in a significant increase in achievement.

“We have quiet study areas to work in and extra resources on D2L like videos and quizzes to use to help us learn.”
— Student

“Teachers encourage students to focus on their studies, revise their work so they can be proud of their math and everything.”
— Student

What initiatives have contributed to this improvement?

Grade 9 Applied Mathematics Course for English Language Learners

An analysis of data and anecdotal evidence showed that English language learners were often having trouble interpreting questions and answering them correctly despite having good basic arithmetic skills. The school’s applied course for English language learners focuses on interpreting, rephrasing and communicating solutions clearly, which gives students learning English greater confidence both in class and on assessments.

Continuum of Skills and Big Ideas from Grades 8 to 9

Together with its feeder schools, Mississauga Secondary looks at students’ achievement on the Grades 6 and 9 EQAO assessments and compares curriculum strands. Mississauga Secondary teachers find seeing how students learned in Grades 6 to 8 and sharing best practices valuable. This year, staff shared a “skills I am taking to high school” checklist with feeder schools, which is being adapted for each grade level.

Grade 9 Teaching Team

Collaborative and committed, Mississauga’s Grade 9 teaching team focuses on monitoring overall program success from year to year and making adjustments to continue to ensure positive student outcomes. Staff share diagnostic information and ideas to differentiate instruction, and together they develop rich performance tasks. Mid-term reviews remind students of previously covered skills and concepts, which facilitates retention of important ideas.

More Resources

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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