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Action plan in place to address grade 3/6 testing

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Mentoring for teachers, use of math exemplars, and summer school are all strategies the Rainy River District School Board plans to use to improve math performance in grade 3/6 testing, assistant superintendent Betty Ann LaRocque told trustees at last night’s regular meeting here.

After seeing grade six students score four percent below the provincial average of 85 percent in math testing last year, and third-graders score one percent below the provincial results last fall, the board has been trying to prepare both students and teachers for upcoming testing, which starts next Monday.

Meanwhile, it’s hoped reading will be strengthened through mentoring programs for teachers, involvement in an early literacy initiative co-ordinated by Northern Ontario Education Leaders, and involvement in the “Supports for Higher Achievement: Literacy” initiative by the Ministry of Education starting this fall.

Based on key findings, the board’s action plan focuses on the following areas:

•All educators must need to address areas in language and mathematics where assessment results are below provincial expectations.

This process involves reviewing present language and math programs using provincial, board, and school data to identify and address gaps in the implementation of curricula;

•To improve student achievement, teachers must provide opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills characteristic of higher level performance during daily classroom teaching/learning activities and in assessments.

•Assessment literacy must be improved to enable teachers and principals to interpret and utilize assessment results, employ a variety of assessment activities, make a more seamless connection between assessment and instruction, and discuss assessments with parents and students.

The plan already was submitted to the Education Quality and Accountability Office on April 7.

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