The numbers are in.
The results from the 2016-2017 Education Quality and Accountability test have been released. The EQAO assessment tests Grades 3 and 6 students in reading, writing and mathematics, Grade 9 applied and academic mathematics, as well as results for the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. The results track the percentage of students at or above the provincial standard.
The Kenora Catholic District School Board is looking closely at the results.
The 2016/17 results reflect an increase in reading from 69 per cent to 82 per cent of students at the provincial standard. Results for writing reflect an increase from 72 per cent to 79 per cent and mathematics reflects an increase from 62 per cent to 71 per cent.
In the junior division, the Grade 6 EQAO results reflect a decrease in reading from 75 per cent to 70 per cent of students at the provincial standard. Results for writing reflect a decrease from 81 per cent to 67 per cent and mathematics reflects a decrease from 38 per cent to 31 per cent.
Grade 9 mathematics show a decrease for applied level mathematics from 81 per cent to 38 per cent, while the academic mathematics results show an increase from 85 per cent to 93 per cent. The 2016/17 results in academic mathematics were 10 per cent above the province and represents the highest score since 2013/14.
For the OSSLT, In 2016/17, 74 percent of St. Thomas Aquinas High School students who wrote the test for the first time were successful, which is a decrease from 78 per cent in 2014/15.
Innovation and Creativity Coordinator, Jamey Robertson, spoke about the results.
“At the Grade 3 level, there has been a 3-year upward trend in reading, writing and mathematics. They are the highest scores in the past 5 years in all of those subject areas. It's been a steady climb in those areas. At the Grade 6 levels, scores have been consistent in reading and writing over the past 5 years. We're really proud of the improvements in this grade from their Grade 3 assessment. They did have scores that represented decreases from prior years, but that was a different class. The gains that this class have made were substantial, 21 per cent higher in reading is quite the achievement,” he said.
Director of Education, Phyllis Eikre, spoke about the results, and noted that the results paint a bright picture for the board.
“We'll be doing a lot of work with these results. It gives us a lot of detail to really delve down and look at every single student, how they performed on the EQAO test, and what the next steps for that student would be. If you look at the steady 3-year trend for the Grade 3 students, we know that they're headed in the right direction. If you look at our Grade 9 academic math scores, our students are scoring at 93 per cent which is very high. We know that we're doing the right thing in those areas,” she said.
The board noted that they are developing a new action plan to help students. The board will be working with faculty at Lakehead University to conduct a research study. Robertson spoke about the study, and what they're aiming to accomplish.
“In mathematics, we are going to look more into student perceptions into mathematics, and skill acquisition and comfort. We'll compare the relationship between how they're feeling in the classroom, their perception of the assessment, and how they're doing,” he said.
Superintendent of Instructional Services, Paul White, spoke about the action plan.
“We've always had action plans. We feel that our teachers are doing a great job. We're always trying to come up with innovative ways for students to reach their ultimate success for academic achievement,” he said.
Eikre spoke about one of the areas that the action plan will be addressing.
"Some of the other areas, we need to delve down a little bit deeper into, get the information, and keep moving forward. One of the areas that we're having a really in-depth look at, is mathematics in Grade 9, and applied math in Grade 9. It's not quite where we want it. We really need to explore about how students feel about themselves being mathematicians,” she said.
KCDSB staff review and analyze EQAO results and individual student data to inform the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement, which is submitted to the Ministry of Education at the beginning of the school year. Administrators and teachers also analyze the results of their school data to develop a School Improvement Plan outlining strategies to improve student success.