Data and Schools: A Journey of Learning
Student population: 1028; Grades: 9–12
- Regiopolis-Notre Dame (RND) is the oldest English-language Catholic high school in Canada and is located in the downtown core of Kingston, the “Limestone City”.
- Incoming Grade 9 students attend a summer program called A-Head Start at Regiopolis-Notre Dame one week prior to the beginning of school.
“I think the RND math teachers are good, because they always spend the time to make sure I understand before moving on to something new. I always knew there was help if I needed it. I started to feel like I was good at math.”— Grade 10 Student
- Transition Planning: The staff use data to plan the delivery of curriculum. Math teachers use EQAO data as a starting point for determining a plan of action during transition meetings with Grade 8 teachers. In-depth transition planning involves outreach with elementary schools, including co-curricular programs such as mathletes and math contests.
- Summer Program: Math teachers lead A-Head Start, which provides literacy and numeracy sessions, for one week in the summer. This allows students entering Grade 9 to brush up on math skills and connect with teachers. The program also provides diagnostic assessment information and allows planning to be differentiated for the cohort.
- Curriculum Planning: In September, students write more formal diagnostic assessments. Teachers, versed in EQAO assessments, create assessments that mirror the EQAO format. Teachers moderate the marking of these assessments together. Math teachers map out the curriculum to ensure consistent timelines and assessment plans across all the math courses.
- Continuing Math: Data about mathematics learning go beyond achievement on the EQAO assessment. Qualitative data are gathered from day-to-day classroom observations. The school also looks at the number of students who continue to take math beyond compulsory credits to gauge long-term impact.
The Pathways to Education after-school math program provides students with an opportunity to learn with teachers and volunteers from Queen’s University. Trained educators help with homework and learning skills.
Students access programs at their community centre. The program also encourages attendance at school and positive attitudes about mathematics. The Pathways to Education workers also come into the school two times a week at lunchtime to reconnect with students and help keep them motivated.
Teachers who are new to the school are supported by an enthusiastic math department, which strives for excellence. The department works collaboratively to co-learn and co-teach mathematics when possible. New teachers are paired with mentors to help them navigate differentiated instruction and assessment in a mathematics classroom.
Math teachers have developed a professional learning day to help all educators at Regiopolis-Notre Dame model positive attitudes about mathematics for students.
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