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Catholic elementary students perform at or above provincial literacy standard

By Kathy Yanchus • REVIEW STAFF

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board trustees were presented with two updated reports on literacy and French as a second language programs, during last Tuesday’s meeting of the Religion, Family Life and Instructional Services committee.

The reports are regular “monitoring” reports brought before the board under the umbrella of the board improvement plan.

The literacy update indicates that during the past three years, the majority of elementary students performed at or above the provincial standard in all grades for reading, writing, oral communication and media literacy. In secondary schools, the report indicates a “very high pass rate” in both academic and applied English programs.

“We’re very pleased and a lot of that is attributed to the classroom teachers, the supports that are provided to classroom teachers by the central staff, as well as by the principals in the schools,” commented Mary Cipolla, superintendent of education.

To support and effectively implement FSL programs, the board provides professional development for teachers, cultural opportunities for students and support for parents, states the report.

Core French begins in Grade 4 and is offered up to Grade 12, while French Immersion is offered from K to Grade 8 in four Hamilton elementary schools, and secondary French Immersion courses are offered at Cathedral High School.

This school year, the board introduced a French Immersion homework support program run during lunch hour by tutors. Parents, teachers and principals will provide feedback at the end of the year in an effort to determine students’ progress.

Recent data indicates core French elementary students achieved or exceeded the provincial standard, while primary and junior grade French Immersion students are approaching provincial standards for reading and writing, and intermediate grade students are meeting and exceeding provincial standards.

Secondary Core French and French Immersion students showed “very good pass rates,” according to the report.

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