MEDIA RELEASE
September 21, 2016


2015-16 EQAO test results released for reading, writing and mathematics

GUELPH, Ontario – Results from the province’s 2015-16 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) tests have been released and students in Upper Grand District School Board continue to show significant gains in many areas of testing.

Grade 9 math

Secondary students in the UGDSB continue to exceed provincial standards in mathematics, particularly in the Applied course. Grade 9 math students in the Upper Grand DSB Applied course have shown significant gains over the past three years.

The assessment was administered in January 2016 to first semester students and in June 2016 to second semester students enroled in Grade 9 Applied or Academic Mathematics courses.

In the Applied course, 71 per cent of students in Upper Grand schools met or exceeded the provincial standard in 2015-16, well ahead of the provincial average of 45 per cent. The UGDSB result shows an increase in four percentage points from the previous year. Students with special needs (excluding gifted) achieved a success rate of 61 per cent, which is 16 percentage points above the provincial results for all students.

In the Academic course, Upper Grand students also surpassed the provincial average of 83 per cent, with 89 per cent of UGDSB students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard. Eighty-five per cent of students with special needs (excluding gifted) met or exceeded the standard.

In the Upper Grand, 1,598 students in the Academic course completed the Grade 9 math assessment; 734 students in the Applied course completed the assessment.

The results show that there was no significant gender gap, with 72 per cent of males meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in the Applied course, versus 69 per cent of female students. In the Academic course, 89 per cent of females and males met or exceeded the provincial standard.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

Students in UGDSB secondary schools who were eligible to write the EQAO Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) this year have achieved an 82 per cent success rate.

The result is one percentage point above the provincial average of 81 per cent. For the past five years Upper Grand DSB has been either the same as or within one or two percentage points of the provincial average.

The OSSLT assesses the reading and writing skills students are expected to learn across all subjects by the end of grade 9. All students, whether in Academic or Applied programs, take the same test. Successful completion of the OSSLT, and/or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), is one of the 32 requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

First Time Eligible (FTE) students in the Academic program continue to excel, with 95 per cent of students meeting or exceeding the standard, compared to 92 per cent provincially. Results for students in Applied courses have remained consistent compared to last year, however students in Applied courses achieved considerably above the province. Fifty-six per cent of FTE students in the Applied program met or exceeded the provincial standards, compared to 47 per cent across the province.

Students with special needs (excluding the gifted) achieved a 59 per cent rate of success, a significant improvement from 48 per cent the previous year and above the provincial average of 53 per cent.

“Upper Grand educators are making significant gains in improving the literacy results of our students with special needs, using assistive technology like Google Read&Write and Speech to Text,” said UGDSB’s Director of Education Martha Rogers. “Moving forward we will examine how we can leverage these tools to improve our math results.”

Of the 2,451 students eligible to write the test for the first time, 50 per cent were female and 50 per cent were male. Females outperformed males with an 87 per cent success rate, compared to 77 per cent for males. The gender discrepancy is slightly more pronounced in Upper Grand as compared to the province, where 85 per cent of female students were successful versus 77 per cent for males.

Previously Eligible (PE) students continued the trend of achieving above the province, with significant gains made in 2015-16. Of the 1,063 students who were previously eligible to write the test, 59 per cent met or exceeded the provincial standard, up from 53 per cent the previous year. That result is 10 percentage points above the provincial standard.

“On behalf of the board I wish to offer congratulations to the Student Success team, and our teachers and support staff for their roles in supporting these significant achievements by our students. If these trends continue, specifically in the areas of Grade 9 Applied math and the OSSLT, no doubt the Ministry of Education will take keen interest in Upper Grand best practices,” said Chair of the Board Mark Bailey.

Primary and Junior results

In May and June of 2016, grade 3 and grade 6 students in the UGDSB participated in the EQAO assessment. Students’ responses were evaluated in the areas of reading, writing and math.

In the Primary assessment, 2,239 grade 3 students from 65 schools participated. Forty-nine per cent of the students were female, 51 per cent were male. Twenty-one per cent of the students participating were receiving special education support (excluding gifted) and 18 per cent were enroled in French Immersion.

In the Grade 3 assessment, 69 per cent met or exceeded the provincial standard, compared to 72 per cent provincially. In writing, 71 per cent achieved the standard, compared to 74 per cent provincially. In math, 59 per cent achieved the standard, versus 63 per cent provincially.

In the spring, 2,199 grade 6 students participated in the EQAO test. Fifty per cent were female, 50 per cent were male, 24 per cent were receiving special education support (excluding gifted) and 12 per cent were enroled in French Immersion.

In reading, 83 per cent of UGDSB grade 6 students met or exceeded the provincial standard, compared to 81 provincially. In writing, 80 per cent met the standard, which matches the provincial average. In math, 51 per cent met the standard, versus 50 per cent provincially.

The 2015-16 EQAO results show that grade 3 results increased from the 2013-14 assessment by three per cent, decreased in writing and math by one per cent. In the grade 6 assessment, performance in reading increased by four per cent, increased in writing by five per cent and increased in math by one per cent from the 2013-14 assessment.

The results of UGDSB students with special education needs (excluding gifted) show increases in Primary and Junior reading and writing. Grade 3 students with special education needs scores increased six per cent in reading (44 per cent), increased five per cent in writing (57 per cent) and decreased five per cent in math (25 per cent).

Grade 6 students with special needs scores increased nine per cent in reading (58 per cent) and writing (52 per cent) and increased one per cent in math (17 per cent). Provincial data for students with special education needs is not currently available.

“It is encouraging to see our special needs students’ results continue to improve. Students with special needs, as well as students in Applied, ESL/ELD and LDCC courses, will always require targeted support and early intervention – this year’s results speak to the power of assistive technology in the classroom,” said Director Rogers.

Release of the 2015-16 EQAO results provides information used by the Board and schools to identify best instructional practices. The data is used by school administrators and teachers to develop school improvement plans with the goal of higher achievement. Strategies that proved most effective in helping struggling students will be noted and shared by curriculum support staff.

Additional information is available at www.ugdsb.on.ca/eqao and on EQAO website at www.eqao.com.

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For more information:
Heather Loney, Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Upper Grand District School Board
519-822-4420 ext.725
heather.loney@ugdsb.on.ca