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UGDSB statement regarding EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment

January 9, 2020

On Jan. 8, 2020, the Minister of Education announced that the decision with respect to the administration of the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment for semester 1 would be left to individual school boards.

Students in the Upper Grand District School Board will not be participating in the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment this January.

All Ontario students who are enrolled in a grade 9 applied or grade 9 academic mathematics course are normally required to take the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment. The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is an independent provincial agency funded by the Government of Ontario. EQAO’s mandate is to conduct province-wide tests at key points in every student’s education and report the results to educators, parents and the public. EQAO measures students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations.

Teachers have been teaching the math curriculum throughout semester one.  The curriculum taught aligns with and prepares students for the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment.

However, due to job action, OSSTF teachers and educational workers will not participate in EQAO preparation or testing. This includes the administration and subsequent marking of the test. The labour sanctions would also make it difficult to implement the accommodations that many students rely on in order to be successful on the test. These accommodations would include scribing, the reading of questions and access to specialized versions of the test material. In UGDSB schools, access to these accommodations is provided by both teachers and educational workers.

Teachers will continue to work through the completion of the grade 9 math curriculum as semester one comes to an end. Historically in the UGDSB, a student’s performance on the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment has been included as part of the student’s final summative grade, which forms part of their overall mark in the course.

Given that this will not be possible this semester, teachers will weigh all evidence of student achievement and will use their professional judgement to determine the student’s report card grade. The final evaluation(s) of the course will allow students an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive achievement of the overall expectations for the course.

In a statement issued on January 8, the Minister of Education said that students who do not take the EQAO Grade 9 Math Assessment in January will need to take the test in June. The board will await further direction from the Ministry with regards to a make-up test for semester 1 students. Board staff would then work through the logistics of administering a make-up test, as this would pose significant challenges to both school staff and grade 9 students who are not studying math in semester 2.

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