Data and Schools: A Journey of Learning
Student population: 326; Grades: K–8
- St. Matthew takes a whole-school approach to student success and well-being and creates engaging learning opportunities.
- St. Matthew works to ensure successful student transitions to secondary school. The school promotes parent engagement through authentic and meaningful relationships with the Catholic trustee, the supervisory officer, the Catholic school council, school-based volunteers and local community partners in support of student learning and well-being.
“Math is fun because we get to learn all the time. We learn how to skip count, subitize, make groups of 10 to get to 100. We make patterns with colours, shapes, sizes. I love math games like dominoes, 10-frame game and the dice matching game. I like making skeleton 3-D shapes.”— Kindergarten student, Year 2
- EQAO Data: In early September, EQAO results are reviewed, and the school improvement learning team prepares to share them with the whole staff. The team looks at trends over time, cohort data and students who are performing below the provincial standard.
- Sharing Data: EQAO data are shared at a staff meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for all staff to look for trends in the data and determine a focus for the school plan.
- Digging Deeper: EQAO results are used in divisional meetings. The item analysis report is used to compare the types of questions to the level of student performance. Thinking questions are selected, and the EQAO reporting tool is used to find each released question.
- Refining Practice: Teachers are able to view the questions and what the samples of student responses look like. This allows them to determine student need and what professional learning teachers require to meet those needs.
- Making a Plan: Last, a school plan with a math focus is created concentrating on providing increased opportunities for students to solve Thinking questions.
Knowing the Learner Meetings
“Knowing the Learner Meetings” allowed teachers, principals and board consultants to work together to assist struggling students. Teachers met three times a year to discuss student learning needs in mathematics. They shared the work of three or four students who were struggling so that different classroom strategies could be discussed. The team discussed the students’ growth over the course of the three meetings. Teachers were able to increase their repertoire of strategies. The information from the meetings identified trends in teacher practice that were used as a focus for professional learning.
Professional Learning Community
The professional learning communities’ focus was to support teacher needs discovered through trends in EQAO data and the Knowing the Learner Meetings. Through the data and the meetings, staff learned that teachers needed to focus on more balanced assessments in their classrooms. Student data indicated a need to focus on computational fluency. The communities used resources to support teachers’ integration of Thinking questions in math by leveraging a variety of assessments and developing more purposeful ways to address computational fluency in mathematics. The result was increased teacher efficacy using interventions, resources and strategies to support student growth.
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