Rainbow Board EQAO results are good overall

Manitoulin Schools mixed

TORONTO—The annual overall EQAO report card on student achievement in the Rainbow School Board was overall pretty positive, while Charles C. McLean and Central Manitoulin Public School results were somewhat mixed.

Charles C. McLean Public School saw Grade 3 reading results rise by two percent to 83 percent of students meeting the standard and writing results drop by three percent to 75 percent meeting the standard, a statistically unremarkable variance, but mathematics scores dropped by a more puzzling nine percent to 67 percent.

Central Manitoulin Public School Grade 3 results saw a rise of 12 percent in the reading category to 72 percent and drops of one and four percent in writing (82 percent) and math (67 percent) respectively.

In the case of the Grade 6 EQAO results, Charles C. McLean Public School saw a  dramatic rise of 12 percent to 81 percent in reading, seven percent in writing to 89 percent and a whopping 11 percent rise in math to 47 percent.

Central Manitoulin Public School saw a drop of nine percent to 74 percent in the number of students meeting the goal standard in reading, a four percent rise to 89 percent in writing and a disturbing drop of 14 percent in math to 51 percent.

A standard caution on these results for very small schools such as those on Manitoulin is that the very small student numbers mean the overall results can be skewed dramatically by a very small number of low student scores.

Across the complete range of Rainbow District School Board schools, year over year EQAO results increased or remained the same in a number of areas, according to a release from the board. The release notes that significant gains were made in Grade 3 reading and writing, while scores were maintained in Grade 3 math and Grade 6 reading, writing and math.

A total of 66 per cent of Grade 3 students achieved at or above the provincial average in reading (up by six percentage points) and 68 per cent of students achieved at or above the provincial average in writing (up by six percentage points). While provincial math results in Grade 3 declined by one percentage point, results for Rainbow District School Board remained the same at 54 per cent.

A total of 77 percent of Grade 6 students achieved at or above the provincial average in reading, 74 percent in writing, and 42 per cent in math. While provincial writing results declined by one percentage point, Grade 6 results for Rainbow District School Board remained the same. Provincial results in Grade 6 reading and math were also stable.

In both Primary and Junior EQAO assessments, Rainbow District School Board recorded marked increases in results for students identified with a learning disability. Most significant were the Grade 3 reading and writing results, up by six percentage points and nine percentage points respectively.

The Grade 9 results for Manitoulin Secondary School saw a two percent rise in applied mathematics scores to a still disturbing 18 percent and a three percent decline in academic mathematics course scores to a reasonably solid 69 percent.

EQAO results in Grade 9 mathematics remained the same in applied (33 percent) and declined slightly in academic (77 percent). Academic math results remained stable provincially, but declined slightly at the applied level. In Grade 9 applied math, Rainbow District School Board recorded marked increases in results for students identified with a learning disability, up by nine percentage points from last year.

The largest number of students ever were successful on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), which is a requirement for graduation. A total of 77 percent of students passed the test, up five percentage points from last year.

“In a number of areas, Rainbow District School Board’s year over year growth was higher than the provincial trend where most results either declined or remained the same,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. He added: “We are particularly pleased with the gains made in Grade 3 reading and writing, the foundation for all learning. We will continue to use EQAO trend data over time to identify areas for continuous improvement.” 

EQAO results provide a measure of how well students understand the expectations outlined in The Ontario Curriculum. Student assessment is most effective when data is interpreted in context, examined over time to determine trends in performance, and used to inform professional dialogue and school improvement planning.

Director Blaseg thanked educators for their ongoing efforts and congratulated students on their achievement. He added: “Assessment results are used to enhance student learning. The data helps us determine areas of focus in literacy and numeracy for school and board improvement planning by answering two important questions: How are we doing? and What can we do next to improve student learning? As always, we will build on our efforts.”

Primary and Junior reading, writing and mathematics tests were written in late May and early June 2017. A total of 868 students participated in the Primary assessment and 830 students participated in the Junior assessment. Very few students were exempt from the assessments. 

The Grade 9 math assessments were completed in January 2017 (Semester 1) and June 2017 (Semester 2). A total of 853 students participated in the Grade 9 math assessments.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) was written on October 20, 2016 (online trial) and March 30, 2017. A total of 954 students wrote the OSSLT.

The Ministry of Education has set Level 3 as the provincial standard.  Students in Level 4 have demonstrated a very high to outstanding level of achievement (80% to 100%). Achievement is above the provincial standard.  Students in Level 3 have demonstrated a high level of achievement (70% to 79%).