Fran­cos sur­pass an­g­los in math

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

The Up­per Canada Dis­trict School Board (UCDSB) is try­ing to find more ef­fec­tive ways to teach math af­ter re­cent test re­sults showed that most of its Grade 6 stu­dents are fail­ing to reach the provin­cial stan­dard.

Mean­while, the French-lan­guage sys­tem con­tin­ues to sur­pass the provin­cial norm.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Qual­ity and Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice ( EQAO) re­cently re­leased a damn­ing statis­tic – half of the province’s Grade 6 stu­dents are not at­tain­ing the stan­dard in math­e­mat­ics. Last week, the EQAO re­leased in­di­vid­ual sta­tis­tics of On­tario’s school boards. They re­vealed that out of the four boards that ad­min­is­ter Glen­garry schools, the UCDSB has the low­est rate of Grade 6 math stu­dents at­tain­ing the stan­dard. That fig­ure is 40 per cent, which is ten per cent be­low the provin­cial av­er­age.

How­ever, Glen­garry’s el­e­men­tary schools are above the board av­er­age. Maxville Public School has a suc­cess rate of 42 per cent, Wil­liamstown’s av­er­age is 48 per cent and Lag­gan has a whop­ping rate of 95 per cent.

Va­lerie Allen, the UCDSB’s Su­per­in­ten­dent of Ed­u­ca­tion, says that Lag­gan’s ex­cep­tional re­sults are due to the school’s com­mit­ment to help­ing its stu­dents learn.

“They made an ef­fort to learn where the stu­dents’ needs were and then they tar­geted those needs,” she told The News, adding that Lag­gan teach­ers un­der­stand that dif­fer­ent stu­dents learn in dif­fer­ent ways.

Alexan­dria’s École Elda-Rouleau saw 93 per cent of its Grade 6 stu­dents reach the provin­cial stan­dard in math. Ms. Des­jardins says that the French-lan­guage school has put a lot of ef­fort into en­han-

cing its in­struc­tion. Staff reg­u­larly holds pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment days where they an­a­lyze data, see how stu­dents learn more ef­fec­tively, and then teach the cur­ricu­lum in a way that re­flects that. At the Catholic Dis­trict School Board of Eastern On­tario, 48 per cent of its Grade 6 math stu­dents reached the provin­cial stan­dard. Alexan­dria’s St. Fin­nan’s school is around that fig­ure (47 per cent) but Iona Academy in St. Raphael’s is well above that at 76 per cent.

Ms. Allen says the UCDSB is mak­ing ef­forts to help its schools im­prove their math marks by adopt­ing prac­tices from some of its more suc­cess­ful schools. Pupils will also ben­e­fit from a $60 mil­lion ini­tia­tive to im­ple­ment a re­newed math strat­egy in On­tario’s class­rooms. The ini­tia­tive which started this month will in­clude teach­ers in Grades 18 spend­ing 60 min­utes per day on math lessons.

The strat­egy will also al­low for up to three math lead teach­ers in all el­e­men­tary schools, and, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, “op­por­tu­ni­ties for ed­u­ca­tors to deepen their knowl­edge in math learn­ing, teach­ing and lead­ing, in­clud­ing a ded­i­cated math Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment Day.”

Read­ing, writ­ing

The UCDSB did fairly well in terms of read­ing and writ­ing. Re­spec­tively, 67 and 73 per cent of its Grades 3 stu­dents reached the provin­cial stan­dards in those sub­jects. Those fig­ures were 79 and 78 at the Grade 6 level. All are around the provin­cial av­er­ages.

For Grade 3 math, 54 per cent of the board’s stu­dents reached the provin­cial stan­dard. The On­tario av­er­age is 63 per cent.

The CDSBEO’s Direc­tor of Ed­u­ca­tion, Wil­liam J. Gart­land, said: “Iona Academy Catholic School has per­formed con­sis­tently over time with re­gard to EQAO scores. The school con­tin­ues to score well over the provin­cial av­er­age in all ar­eas. The CDSBEO con­tin­ues to sup­port all learn­ers with clear and pre­cise in­ter­ven­tions that will sup­port their learn­ing in all ar­eas.

“The board has worked ex­tremely hard to tar­get and in­volve the par­ent com­mu­nity in all as­pects of learn­ing. Iona has a very strong par­ent group that con­tin­ues to work with the school to im­prove learn­ing out­comes, and the school has al­ways had a very strong team ap­proach to lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy.”

When it comes to Grade 6 math, the French- lan­guage boards are vastly out­per­form­ing their English coun­ter­parts. In­deed, 85 per cent of Grade 6 French stu­dents met the provin­cial stan­dard.

At the lo­cal French Catholic board level, the av­er­age is 83 per cent whereas the French public board level is 86.

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