Grade 10 testing focus of presentation

Grade 10 students across the province will be writing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test next month, but this year they’re required to pass it to graduate.
That’s the message Fort Frances High School wants to stress to parents when it hosts a special information meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria, teacher Heather Campbell, chair of the FFHS secondary literacy committee, said Monday morning.
“I think because of the direct impact this has on their child graduating, it is essential they attend, show interest, and perhaps find things they can do at home to help out with this,” she noted.
“And just going to the information night emphasizes the importance of this to their kids,” added Campbell.
For the parents of special education students, staff will be on hand Wednesday night to answer any question they have about their children’s graduation requirements.
Students here and across Ontario will be writing the test for two-and-a-half hours on the mornings of Oct. 26 and 27.
Grade 10 students wrote the test for the first time last year but it didn’t count as a graduation requirement then.
Back in the spring, Education Director Warren Hoshizaki vowed the Rainy River District Board of Education would see the test scores rise this year after the Education Quality and Accountability Office reported that 41 percent of grade 10 students in the district failed either one or both portions of the test, which was written last October.
While 43 percent of the students passed the test (i.e., both portions), 22 percent failed both the reading and writing parts. Some 15 percent failed only writing while another four percent failed just reading.
The remaining 16 percent of students were absent for one or both days of the tests, which are designed to gauge students’ grasps on reading and writing in the new curriculum.
The Ministry of Education announced just days before last year’s test that it would only be a practice run, and some believe that may have affected students’ scores.