Local school boards pause EQAO testing due to stress of pandemic learning

No date has been set for the assessments at this time

GUELPH – In response to the ongoing challenges of pandemic learning, both the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) and Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) are pausing the Grade 9 EQAO assessment until further notice.

Students enrolled in the destreamed Grade 9 math course for the second quadmester were scheduled to participate in the EQAO mathematics assessment in late January.

A Jan. 20 statement on the UGDSB website confirmed, “in recognition of the level of ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19,” the board has decided to defer the assessment.

Unlike the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test in Grade 10, the Grade 9 mathematics assessment is not a graduation requirement for students and can be held between October and June 1.

“This decision has been made with input gathered from various stakeholders, including UGDSB students, and acknowledges the incredible stresses and challenges that students and teachers have been experiencing,” the Jan. 20 statement from UGDSB reads.

“This decision allows for additional instructional time to support student learning.”

In an email, WCDSB communications officer Ali Wilson said the decision to pause testing at the Catholic board was made earlier this week in consultation with the board’s executive team.

“Given the many disruptions these past several weeks and with consideration to student well-being as we finish the quadmester, we are pausing the administration Grade 9 EQAO assessment for the time being,” Wilson said.

“We had planned to hold it at the end of the quadmester but, given the circumstances, we will not be administering it at this time.”

Grade 9 math students from this quadmester will have the opportunity to complete the test in the future, “where there is interest or if required,” Wilson added.