June 13, 2012                                                                            

 OSSLT a “Write” of Passage for Students  

School, board and provincial results of the most recent Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) are now available to parents and members of the public. Students across Ontario wrote the assessment in April, 2012. Students must successfully complete the OSSLT or a related literacy course to graduate from high school.  

Overall, 79% of DSBN students who wrote the test for the first time met or exceeded the provincial standard, which is measured as Level 3 on a 4 point scale. This represents an increase of 1% over the previous year’s results. This year, 93% of eligible DSBN students wrote the OSSLT for the first time.  

Included in this year’s results, 13 DSBN high schools had success rates of 80% or above, while two schools show success rates of 90% and above. Ten schools increased their success rates compared to last year, while three schools maintained their positions.  

Two schools, Fort Erie Secondary and St. Catharines Collegiate, both demonstrated improvements of more than 12%. Both schools credit much of their success to the support of their school-based literacy teams.  

Collegiate Principal Tracy Sacco says the Literacy Team met weekly to review data and discuss strategies that would help improve student learning. “Every Friday, students were given dedicated reading time. They chose the materials that interested them, but it was important that all students spent time reading. We also held special after-hours literacy sessions three times a week, where students were given specific literacy-based tasks to strengthen their skills,” says Sacco. The school also placed an emphasis on supporting their ELL (English Language Learner) students.  

At Fort Erie Secondary, teachers worked in pairs to create and deliver engaging lessons to support student literacy. “These sessions focused on items such as language conventions, persuasive writing, structure and inferencing. Teachers also focused on strategies to decrease student anxiety over writing the test,” says Helena Tritchew, Fort Erie Principal. 

Sue Greer, Superintendent of School Support Services, says the OSSLT provides important information about overall trends, areas of strength and areas for improvement. “It is important to remember that the OSSLT represents a snapshot of student learning. When considered in conjunction with other important data, this information assists the Board in targeting programs and resources to best support students across the system,” says Greer.  

"The DSBN is committed to ensuring all students have the support they need to become successful in school,” says Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Director of Education. “Our staff work diligently to understand the needs of each student and to implement specific strategies to address their unique circumstances and improve their learning.” 

For additional information about the OSSLT, please visit the EQAO website.