Peel - Results from the March 2012 administration of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) indicate that Dufferin-Peel students continue to surpass the provincial success rate. This year, 86% of Dufferin-Peel students who wrote the OSSLT for the first time, successfully completed the test. This year’s results demonstrate an increase over last year. For five consecutive years, Dufferin-Peel students have exceeded the provincial average on the Literacy Test.
“The results of this year’s tests affirm the high level of achievement that Dufferin-Peel Catholic students have been experiencing over time,” said John B. Kostoff, Director of Education. “And, although we are pleased to see that our students continue to outpace their peers province-wide,
we remain focused on increasing the high level of achievement as we move forward.”
The OSSLT is conducted annually by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), an independent agency with the mandate to ensure greater accountability and to help improve the quality of education. The OSSLT provides an indication of each student’s achievement of reading and writing skills up to the end of Grade 9.
The March 2012 OSSLT results report on two groups of students: “first-time eligible students” (students who entered Grade 9 during the 2010-2011 school year and any others who were placed in this cohort) and “previously eligible students” (students who entered Grade 9 prior to 2010-2011 and who were not successful during a previous administration of the test). Students who were not successful during a previous administration must successfully complete the OSSLT or, alternatively, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). Successful completion of the OSSLT or the OSSLC is one of the thirty-two requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
The success rates for first-time eligible students in the last five administrations of the OSSLT are presented below:
The March 2012 OSSLT results for previously eligible students who wrote the test are presented below:
“Dufferin-Peel Catholic schools provide rich and supportive learning environments in which all students have opportunities to succeed.” said Sheila McWatters, Superintendent of Program. “We will continue to enhance capacity to support students’ achievement and well-being, while focusing on ways to ensure that the specific learning needs of each student are met by his or her school community.”
“The collaboration of school, family and parish is central to supporting the learning needs of all students and we will continue to strengthen this partnership as we strive to ensure each student has every opportunity for success,” added Sheila McWatters.
Practices in place in Dufferin-Peel schools that continue to prove successful include: a focus on literacy at the elementary level, prior to Grade 9; delivering literacy instruction across the curriculum in Grade 9; providing all Grade 9 students with an OSSLT simulation opportunity and a Success Tips booklet; offering additional learning opportunities to Grade 10 students through after school and summer literacy programs; and providing explicit instructional preparation over the first and second semesters to support improved student achievement in reading and writing in all courses.
Dufferin-Peel is in the process of analyzing the OSSLT results in greater detail to provide better support to schools, parents and students in order to ensure that more students are better prepared to pass the test on their first attempt. Each school has its own literacy plan, which will be reviewed in the context of the test results, to improve students’ reading and writing skills in all subject areas. School plans include strategies to assist all students, including remediation for students who did not successfully complete the OSSLT.
The board and school results will be available on the board website at www.dpcdsb.org
in the fall of 2012. Additional information on the test can be obtained through the EQAO web site at www.eqao.com