St. John XXIII Catholic School

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

St. John XXIII Catholic School, Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

Student population: 280; Grades: K–6; Principal: Heidi Fraser

  • Rural/urban population in small town in eastern Ontario
  • More than one-third of the Grade 6 population identified with special education needs
  • Multigenerational school with two or three generations of families having attended the school
  • More than 90% of all students in Grade 3 and Grade 6 achieved the provincial standard in reading and writing
Shauna Rampton (SERT), Heidi Fraser (Principal) and Jacqueline Ryan (Grade 6 Teacher)

St. John XXIII is a multigenerational school located in the small town of Arnprior, Ontario, just west of Ottawa. The school experiences very little staff turnover; many of the staff at the school attended the school as students. Staff commitment to the school and community has fostered a culture in which all students can succeed given the proper time and supports.

“Allowing us to use Prodigy and/or Mathletics on our Chromebooks and doing a daily math review helps me remember what I have learned in math.”

— Grade 5 Student

Selection Criteria

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

Grade 3
Grade 6
Special education needs
English language learners
Born outside Canada
First language learned at home was other than English

How have the results improved?

The staff at St. John XXIII use EQAO data to help plan school improvement. They use the EQAO attitudes and behaviour data to get a better understanding of student confidence in mathematics. They use EQAO contextual information to inform the resources that will be required to address the specific needs of their demographic. EQAO’s achievement data, along with report card data, early identification assessments, in-class assessments and attendance data help inform their practice and allow them to address the specific needs of their community’s students.

“Parents contribute by looking through the math books that are sent home (e.g., daily math review) and working on the areas that the teacher has highlighted as areas of need. We also play the games that have been suggested by the teacher as ways of including math in our daily lives. “

— Parent

What initiatives have contributed to this improvement?

Analyzing Data—A Whole-School Approach

St. John XXIII Catholic School examines their data closely, looking for gaps in student learning and possible programming needs. All staff gather at the beginning of the year to examine the previous year’s results and discuss strategic planning around the results in mathematics. Every educator in the building partakes in these discussions and all input is valuable.

Tutors in the Classroom

Every spring, St. John XXIII employs three or four university students to assist in the Grade 3 and 6 classrooms. These tutors are post-secondary students that come back year after year to assist the school in the spring. They are employed using provincial funding and their role culminates with them being the scribes necessary for the students that require the accommodation.

Supporting Students with Special Needs

St. John XXIII has a “whole team” approach to supporting students with accommodations. The SERT works closely with the classroom teacher to provide support that will allow all students to access the curriculum. Students are constantly refreshed on using assistive technology in their day-to-day work.

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