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School board concerned about student assessments below provincial averages

The school board is concerned students within Hastings and Prince Edward counties are continuing to perform below the provincial average in provincial assessments for reading, writing and mathematics.

Student achievement results for provincial assessments written last spring were released throughout the province Wednesday. Students in grades 3, 6 and 9 were tested.

The provincial assessments, commonly referred to as EQAO (Education Equality and Accountability Office) tests, offer insights into whether students are meeting curriculum expectations in reading, writing and math at key stages of their education, as well as students’ attitudes and habits toward learning.

“The achievement results for HPEDSB are concerning. The data shows that our students continue to perform below the province,” said Tina Elliott, Superintendent of Curriculum Services. “The results are static in some areas of reading and writing and continue to trend downwards in mathematics. We want to see a better outcome than this for our students.”

She noted the results show there is work to do at HPEDSB, starting at the central office level through to the classrooms.

“We are going to pause and think about how we can work differently and more closely with our classroom and school educators to reverse the achievement trends.

“We believe our students are capable of more, of a higher level of success. In fact, these achievement results do not reflect the commitment our educators show each and every day to students in support of their learning.

“We have first-class educators and support staff at HPEDSB. Together with their guidance and the partnership of our families, our school board will continue to be diligent in reversing this trend in support of all students first and all students achieving,” added Elliott.

HPEDSB results:

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  1. Angela says:

    Maybe if they spent more time in the classroom and less time strolling four abreast on Main Street, pizza slices in hand. How do they find time for homework between all these fast food off-site lunches and part-time jobs? Do they even have homework these days?

  2. Gary says:

    Begins at home, and food in the belly.

  3. Rob #2 says:

    This is concerning but the cause is probably very complex.

    I’m not in the education (teaching) business, but I can’t help but imagine what some of these kids are getting at home. I am appalled as someone 50-ish what some of the younger parents I work with are like. Totally empty shells when it comes to having any general knowledge beyond what is on Netflix or sourcing parts for an old diesel jacked-up truck. Who is the Prime Minister? Premier? What do you mean “division of powers?”

    My father was blue collar and only had grade 9 but as a young child I watched him read a couple of newspapers each night, and also saw him watching “The National” and “60 Minutes”. As a tradesperson he probably didn’t need to know what was going on in Northern Ireland, but he saw keeping up with the world as his responsibility.

    In today’s world being a man around these parts often seems to mean getting a giant truck, huge beard and amassing a collection all-terrain vehicles. I know plenty of these people and will take a leap that emphasizing learning and the rigors of the early grades setting a stage for maximum educational success later in high school and beyond just isn’t being seen in their homes. “If it doesn’t make me money and impact my life out here on _____ Rd, why should I waste any time in learning it.” Kids become who they are from watching adults. These are the results.

    That computers and automation is taking all but the hands-on work away isn’t helping, but that shouldn’t mean that there’s no need to (even as an adult) continue to learn, to read, to think about things that will only serve to expand your knowledge. If you do that you can’t help but encourage your kids to do the same. My mother dragged home library books and it wasn’t long before I wanted to do the same, something I have carried for decades long after.

    I’m dumping on some local parents here, but I think that is where much of the desire to learn and to persevere in the face of what seems like “dumb” or “useless” facts in grade school has to come from. The teachers see the kids for six hours a day, and they cover a wide variety of topics. Curious, educated and dedicated parents play a huge role not only in the day to day success of students, but in instilling in them an automatic self-discipline and curiosity about the world that goes beyond the classroom and hopefully lasts a lifetime.

    Community Colleges are flawed too, as we emphasize trades they feed students a fixed curriculum of what they need to know to get a job and that’s it. There is no elective courses to encourage growth in other areas. It’s all about making money and getting people out the door.

    In other words I don’t believe the classroom is the first or only place to look when wondering why we see these test results. But I will say that as a young child I looked at teachers with admiration, reverence and respect. Now knowing a few myself I wonder if I was just naive back then or if things have changed. The Unions have a lot of say I suppose in the day-to-day “small things” at school, but why can’t the Board mandate that frontline staff look professional as opposed to often being dressed like slobs? Some I have seen do look good but others show up to teach school looking like a summer Saturday afternoon at Wal-Mart.

    And one further thing, the recent story that we have been talking about regarding the library expansion showed 182,792 items borrowed in 2018 and 127,350 visits. That’s about 1.5 items per visit and I found that surprisingly low.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    I am very surprised that no one has commented on the alarming HPEDSB student assessment results. Five of the 2018-2019 results are lower than the previous period, not “static”, and all range between 4% and 12% below the provincial average. What is the explanation for these continuing sub-par results? Do our teachers have the support and the tools they need to turn these results around? Surely parents with children in our schools are owed more than “[we] will continue to be diligent in reversing this trend”?

    I do not have children in school, but if I did I don’t think I would find much reassurance in these words.

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