Like their peers across the province, students at EDSS do the majority of reading and writing outside school in front of a computer screen.
Completing the questionnaire that is part of the Grade 10 literacy test, Elmira students reported that the most common types of reading outside school were websites, email and chat messages (89%); and magazines (71%).
The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released full results of the literacy test this week, showing 92 per cent of students at EDSS taking the test for the first time passed it.
Those results were higher than the provincial and board levels; 88 per cent of students in the Waterloo Region District School Board passed, and 85 per cent of students were successful across the province.
Of students taking academic-level English at EDSS, 99 per cent passed, and 79 per cent of students taking applied English passed.
“We’re very, very pleased about the success rate,” said principal Mary Anne Richer.
Richer was particularly happy with the success rate of students re-taking the test after an unsuccessful attempt. Where 56 per cent of previously eligible students were successful across the region, at EDSS, 89 per cent passed.
“That’s a huge, huge increase in our statistics and we’re just so pleased because it’s due to the work of the teachers who are working on the remediation strategies,” Richer said.
Students with special needs in Elmira also performed better than provincial averages; 60 per cent of EDSS students with special needs passed, compared to 47 per cent provincially.
Females have consistently outperformed males every year the test has run, at both the school and provincial level. The margin at EDSS was much narrower this year than other years (93 per cent of females passed versus 92 per cent of males) but the margin provincially was more significant (88 per cent versus 82 per cent.)
Some explanation for the gender gap might lie in the survey results that accompanied the test. When it came to reading, more females did reading outside of school in every category except comics and instruction manuals. The results were similar for writing, where more females wrote emails, journals, stories and other types of material outside school hours.
Survey results showed 96 per cent of EDSS students have a computer at home, 97 per cent have books at home and 91 per cent have newspapers at home.
Among schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board, Elmira’s results put the school in the middle of the pack, behind Sir John A. Macdonald (95%) and Waterloo Collegiate (93%) but ahead of Waterloo-Oxford (89%) and Grand River Collegiate (85%).