Local school boards are reporting an improvement to their Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) provincial testing results.
The largest school board in the region, the Rainbow District School Board, said while primary reading and writing remained relatively stable, significant gains were made at the junior level, where the board recorded its best results ever.
A total of 71 per cent of Grade 6 students achieved at or above the provincial average in reading (up by three percentage points), and 68 per cent of students achieved at or above the provincial average in writing (up by four percentage points).
Primary and junior math results followed provincial trends, with fewer students ranking in levels 3 and 4.
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 per cent to 100 per cent). Achievement is above the provincial standard.
Students in Level 3 have demonstrated a high level of achievement (70 per cent to 79 per cent).
“Rainbow District School Board’s scores over the past five years continue to follow the provincial trend,” said the board's director of education, Norm Blaseg.
“We are particularly pleased with the gains made in Grade 6 reading and writing. We will continue to use EQAO trend data over time to identify areas for continuous improvement.”
The Sudbury Catholic District School Board also said its primary and junior students are doing well.
Over the past five years, the Grade 3 students reaching level 3 and 4 has increased from 58 per cent to 61 per cent in reading, and from 69 per cent to 76 per cent in writing.
Over the past five years, the Grade 6 students reaching level 3 and 4 in writing has increased from 69 per cent to 76 per cent, and maintained an average of 75 per cent in reading.
Over the past five years, the board significantly decreased the gap between the boys and girls in reading, writing and mathematics.
Students with special education needs have shown tremendous growth, especially in writing.
Following the provincial trend, there has been a decrease in the board's elementary mathematic results this year. The board said it is undertaking a detailed intervention plan to support increased success in numeracy.
Secondary Grade 9 mathematic results have remained stable in applied mathematics, and have shown a significant increase in academic performance.
"Once again our Sudbury Catholic students and staff have shown how committed they are to success, and we are quite proud of their efforts,” said the board's director of education, Catherine McCullough. “We will continue to work together using evidence-based teaching and learning strategies to ensure progress going forward.”
Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) has also seen steady improvement among its elementary students (grades 3 and 6) over the past five years in reading, writing and mathematics.
Since 2008-2009, CSCNO Grade 3 students have stood out among Ontario students, successfully maintaining a steady progression in their success rates, said a press release from the school board. Reading results increased to 73 per cent (a nine-per-cent increase), writing improved to 78 per cent (a five-per-cent increase) and mathematics results stand at 74 per cent (an eight-per-cent increase). These results reflect the success of the board’s strategies designed to support CSCNO students in their learning.
Grade 6 students have also demonstrated steady improvement since 2008-2009. Reading results have attained 87 per cent (a 14-per-cent increase), writing results have risen to 82 per cent (a nine-per-cent increase) and mathematics results sit at 76 per cent (a five-per-cent drop).
CSCNO explains that the energy dedicated to reading and writing may explain the improved performance in these skills, as well as a slight drop in Grade 6 mathematics. In fact, since this same cohort was evaluated in provincial testing in 2009-2010 when they were in Grade 3, their performance has improved by 22 per cent in reading, two per cent in writing and seven per cent in mathematics.
“As reflected in our yearly results, our elementary level students are making and sustaining great progress in both reading and writing, our grade 3 and 6 students also excel in mathematics. Without a doubt, they greatly benefit from our teaching strategies, continued support and pedagogical initiatives,” said Nicole Sonier, executive director of education at the CSCNO.
“We take pride in being among Francophone school boards that continue to perform at high levels across the province in all grade 3 and grade 6 testing components. While improving their performance, CSCNO students are contributing to the continued improvement of the Francophone average score across the province.”
Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario said its EQAO results have been on the rise for the last few years.
Grade 3 student results have considerably improved over the last five years, representing an impressive increase of 16 per cent in reading, 14 per cent in writing and 19 per cent in mathematics in levels 3 and 4.
Grade 6 students have also achieved impressive results in reading over the last five years. Results have gone from 69 per cent to 90 per cent, representing a significant increase of 21 percentage points.
Grade 6 student results in reading have also improved over the last five years with 88 per cent, representing an increase of 18 percentage points since 2008.
Grade 6 mathematics student results have also improved over the last five years with a 12-per-cent increase.
“CSPGNO student results are positive and are on the rise every year. The Board is extremely happy with the success of all its students,” said the board's director of education, Marc Gauthier.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank CSPGNO teaching staff members for their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving student academic performance.
“Students are the board’s priority and we will continue to pursue our endeavours in developing innovative learning strategies so that each and every student at CSPGNO succeeds and reaches his or her full potential.”