June 16, 2006 -
Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has announced the results of its annual province-wide Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) for the 2005-2006 school year. Of the 383 Sudbury Catholic District School Board students who wrote the OSSLT test for the first time, 90 percent were successful in passing. The Sudbury Catholic District School Board scores were the highest in Northeastern Ontario.|
The report also profiles 17 secondary schools made notable for their progress in OSSLT results since the tests were first introduced in 2002. St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School has been selected by EQAO in the province of Ontario as one of the English-language schools that has demonstrated continued student success in the OSSLT.
The school’s success rate for students writing the OSSLT for the first time rose from 80 percent in February 2002 to 92 percent in March 2006. St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School has a population of 650 students, of whom 23 percent are identified as having special needs. Now in its 12th year, the school offers a wide variety of programming, including French Immersion, locally developed
not-for-credit courses and a Wireless Laptop Grade 9 Math program.
"Underlying the many initiatives to build school-wide literacy at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School is the philosophy that literacy is critical for every subject," states Guy Mathieu, Principal of St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. "Strategies such as think-alouds and focused readings have become standard practice in every classroom. Our teachers articulate how they
will promote the development of literacy skills in the course outlines that go home with students."
In addition to providing dedicated literacy days, the school also offers Grade 9 literature activities which focus on the literacy skills reflected in the curriculum and the OSSLT. This approach will be extended to Grade 10. In order to build capacity, the school has partnered with the local university, colleges and retired teachers to enhance support for students in need of additional assistance.
Paula Peroni, Chair of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board is pleased with the recent OSSLT results.
"I would like to congratulate our secondary students, parents, teachers and staff on their excellent results in the recent OSSLT scores," states Peroni. "The results are a tribute to their hard work and dedication." Zandra Zubac Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board shares Peroni’s optimism given the latest test results. "Literacy and student success rates have always been a major priority with our Board," states, Zubac. "We are continuing our work with our cross-curricular teams and school staff to build successful learning environments for
students to ensure continued success rates."
A record-high 125,830 Grade 10 secondary school students in Ontario met the literacy standard this year as the provincial success rate on the literacy test continues to rise, increasing to 84% in 2006.