No EQAO testing for Grade 9 math students in January

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local public and Catholic school students will not be participating in Grade 9 math EQAO assessments this month.

As part of Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) job action, members are refusing to participate in EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability Office) preparation, testing, administration and marking.

On Jan. 8, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said individual school boards will make the decision on whether the EQAO math assessment will proceed.

“OSSTF said their job action would not impact students, but this is a clear example of union disruption affecting Ontario students,” Lecce said. “I recognize that this important assessment may not take place in the majority of English-public high schools.

“We continue to be concerned by the adverse impacts on students due to union escalation.”

Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) and Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) officials said the unions’ job action means it will be will difficult to make accommodations for some students to be successful on the test.

“These accommodations would include scribing, the reading of questions and access to specialized versions of the test material,” UGDSB and WCDSB officials said. “In (UGDSB/WCDSB) schools, access to these accommodations is provided by both teachers and educational workers.”

Despite the cancelation of EQAO testing, teachers will continue to work through the Grade 9 math curriculum until the end of the semester, school board officials said.

Come June, Lecce said Grade 9 math students who missed the test in January will need to complete the EQAO assessment.

“The board will await further direction from the ministry with regards to a make-up test for semester one students,” UGDSB and WCDSB officials said. “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 two.”