Separate school board sees improvement in testing results

Grade three students under the Northwest Catholic District School Board improved in the areas of reading, writing, and math over last year, trustees learned at Saturday’s regular monthly meeting.
The biggest jump came in math, with students showing a 17 percent jump compared to 1998.
Still, the local results of the testing–done through the Education Quality and Accountability Office–were slightly below the provincial average in all three areas.
Meanwhile, the local grade six students tested were above the provincial average in reading and math but below it in writing (since this was the first time grade six students were tested, their results could not be compared to last year).
Some 151 students in grade three and 160 in grade six at St. Francis, St. Michael’s, Our Lady of the Way, St. Joseph’s, and Sacred Heart were tested back in May.
Schools received individual student and overall school results. The percentage of students who scored within the Level 3 and 4 provincial standards broke down like this:
< *c>Grade 3
< *c>Reading
•1999 results–46%
•1998 results–40%
•Prov. average–48%
< *c>Writing
•1999 results–52%
•1998 results–47%
•Prov. average–56%
< *c>Math
•1999 results–56%
•1998 results–39%
•Prov. average–60%
< *c>Grade 6
< *c>Reading
•1999 results–53%
•Prov. average–50%
< *c>Writing
•1999 results–46%
•Prov. average–50%
< *c>Math
•1999 results–49%
•Prov. average–48%
“We’re extremely pleased with the improvement in all the areas,” said Education Director Carol-Lynne Oldale. “When you look at any standardized testing like this, you have to look at improving from year to year.
“It takes a lot of work on the part of teachers, and we know they’ve been working hard,” she added.
After looking at these results, the board is now required to develop action plans outlining projected improvement strategies and submit them to the EQAO by March 10.
“It’s a slow process. We’ll work with staff and principals to see that measures are taken to improve results even more so next time,” said Oldale, adding initiatives will be worked out on a school-by-school basis as well as the board level.
These plans will be presented to the board for review at its Feb. 19 meeting.
In other news, Teresa Dennis left her role as the board’s curriculum co-ordinator to become its special education co-ordinator–something it hasn’t had since the amalgamation of the Fort Frances-Rainy River District Roman Catholic School Board and the Dryden District Roman Catholic School Board.
The board will be looking to fill the curriculum co-ordinator position by January.
Meanwhile, Kathy Mueller has been appointed part-time Catholicity co-ordinator, which involves monitoring the religious aspect of education under the board.
Also at Saturday’s meeting, the board:
•refused an offer from the Keewatin-Patricia District Board to purchase surplus property, including the Dryden warehouse, Wellington School, Central School, and Hudson School;
•approved the Nov. 20 personnel report, which saw Jody Fisk-Jolicouer (Our Lady of the Way), Lisa Bailey (Sacred Heart), and Valerie Everett, Christine Schott, and Samantha Beland (St. Joseph’s) hired as teaching assistants, and Illene Indian hired as long-term occasional teacher;
•confirmed $649,032.80 in cash disbursements for October;
•received minutes of the Special Education Advisory Committee meeting held Sept. 15;
•noted the absence of trustee C. Bernie from to meeting so she could attend a special education technology conference for educators and parents; and
•approved its schedule of regular meetings for 2000.