Schools Receive Provincial Recognition of Excellence

McKellar Park Central Public School and Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute have been honoured with the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement during a ceremony in Toronto today. The award is given to the schools in recognition of the dedication to student achievement and for the use of Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) data to improve student learning. Seventeen schools across the province (12 English and 5 French) were honoured with the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement at the ceremony.

“We are extremely proud of the efforts made by the teaching teams at both McKellar Park Central Public School and Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute for their daily commitment to supporting student achievement,” says Ian MacRae, Lakehead Public Schools Director of Education. “Through the use of EQAO data and numerous other sources of data, schools are able to develop goals that are specifically developed for student success.”

Staff at McKellar Park Central Public School utilize EQAO data in conjunction with classroom and school data to inform next steps for learning strategies based on student learning needs. School staff analyze data to determine trends and patterns and determined that there needed to be a concerted focus on school to home connections and parental engagement while building self-efficacy.

McKellar Park Central Public School improvement initiatives include:

  • Building Relationships with Parents. Building community connections and a welcoming environment for students and their families is a priority.
  • Knowing the Learners. A continuum of learning was used to clearly identify the learning needs of students with individual education plans (IEP) and it uncovered that many of the needs were similar or related for all students.
  • Building a Positive Growth Mindset. Through the analysis of EQAO and school data, the staff identified growth mindset as the most critical need, as many students did not perceive themselves as learners.

“Our teaching staff work as a team to target each student’s specific learning strengths and needs to help them to move forward on their learning journey,” says Jo-Anne Giertuga, Principal of McKellar Park Central Public School. “At McKellar Park Central, we believe that every student can learn and that through targeted instruction, we can meet the learning needs of all students.”

EQAO data is used at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute to identify student learning gaps and to develop strategies to address those gaps. The data collected through the EQAO is combined with other assessment data to assist with school improvement planning and goal setting that will positively influence classroom instruction. The EQAO online tool, Web Reporting, is also utilized to compare subgroups of students for the year in question or over a determined time.

“I am extremely proud of the targeted and strategic work that our team does to meet the needs of all students in our school each and every day,” says Michelle Probizanski, Principal of Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute. “A focus on student achievement that incorporates support for the whole child ensures success in all areas of their educational journey.”

Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute school improvement initiatives include:

  • Communication with Parents. Communication with parents has contributed enormously to the success of students. Assessment data is provided to both students and parents to include them in the conversation and to motivate learning.
  • One-to-One Coaching. One-to-one coaching has been very effective for students with special needs. Students have the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment throughout the process up until the day of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

This recognition program is named in honour of Dr. Bette M. Stephenson, who was minister of both Education and Colleges and Universities in Ontario and is currently a director emeritus on EQAO’s Board of Directors. The schools recognized through this program have used a wide range of evidence to develop action plans based on their unique circumstances and have seen notable improvements in student achievement, as demonstrated by an increase in EQAO results over time.