Local early literacy levels lagging behind provincial standards

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area students are falling short on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), according to a progress report presented recently to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

The board's goal was for 55 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, which was only achieved by the Senior Kindergarten class (in which 65 per cent reached the goal).

The provincial standards call for 75 per cent to meet or surpass the appropriate reading level. The assessments are administered to each class between JK and Grade 3, in the Spring and Fall, and are used to gauge early literacy. The test has been in place since 2003.

Board staff plan to use the results to form a plan of action, according to Superintendent Krys Croxall. Because the test is an assessment tool for the schools and board, with no academic repercussions for the individual student, the test's standards can be adjusted. Other boards have found that students fare better in the long run by raising the bar for the lower grades, allowing for a slower learning curve later on.

The board is looking at a variety of strategies to help students and teachers meet the goals, largely focusing on early identification and intervention for problem readers, said Croxall. Implementing best practices at the classroom level is also key, she said.

The goal for next year is for 65 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, with the provincial goal of 75 per cent reached by 2008, according to the report.

The results show a steady improvement over time for all grades. However, the board is monitoring the current Grade 1 class carefully; the test results suggest that this grade may be struggling with the material, with only 43 per cent reaching the goal. The board will be consulting with neighbouring boards to determine if the problem is systemic, or isolated to Hamilton.

Girls consistently out-perform boys on the test. Girls in JK surpassed boys by seven per cent; girls in SK surpassed boys by 15 per cent, with 73 per cent reaching the target reading level, compared to 58 per cent of boys. Girls in Grades 1 and 2 surpassed the boys by 11 per cent, while six per cent more Grade 3 girls passed than the boys in the 2005 test.

Students in English as a Second language (ESL) programs fared worse than other students, but the records show steady improvement over the years, in all years but Grade 3, where the number of students meeting or exceeding expectations has remained steady around 38 per cent. According to the report, 43 per cent of JK, 53 per cent of SK, 37 per cent of Grade 1, and 45 per cent of Grade 2 students met or exceeded the established benchmark, compared to 24 per cent, 39 per cent, 31 per cent and 40 per cent respectively for the pilot year in 2003.

Local early literacy levels lagging behind provincial standards

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area students are falling short on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), according to a progress report presented recently to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

The board's goal was for 55 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, which was only achieved by the Senior Kindergarten class (in which 65 per cent reached the goal).

The provincial standards call for 75 per cent to meet or surpass the appropriate reading level. The assessments are administered to each class between JK and Grade 3, in the Spring and Fall, and are used to gauge early literacy. The test has been in place since 2003.

Board staff plan to use the results to form a plan of action, according to Superintendent Krys Croxall. Because the test is an assessment tool for the schools and board, with no academic repercussions for the individual student, the test's standards can be adjusted. Other boards have found that students fare better in the long run by raising the bar for the lower grades, allowing for a slower learning curve later on.

The board is looking at a variety of strategies to help students and teachers meet the goals, largely focusing on early identification and intervention for problem readers, said Croxall. Implementing best practices at the classroom level is also key, she said.

The goal for next year is for 65 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, with the provincial goal of 75 per cent reached by 2008, according to the report.

The results show a steady improvement over time for all grades. However, the board is monitoring the current Grade 1 class carefully; the test results suggest that this grade may be struggling with the material, with only 43 per cent reaching the goal. The board will be consulting with neighbouring boards to determine if the problem is systemic, or isolated to Hamilton.

Girls consistently out-perform boys on the test. Girls in JK surpassed boys by seven per cent; girls in SK surpassed boys by 15 per cent, with 73 per cent reaching the target reading level, compared to 58 per cent of boys. Girls in Grades 1 and 2 surpassed the boys by 11 per cent, while six per cent more Grade 3 girls passed than the boys in the 2005 test.

Students in English as a Second language (ESL) programs fared worse than other students, but the records show steady improvement over the years, in all years but Grade 3, where the number of students meeting or exceeding expectations has remained steady around 38 per cent. According to the report, 43 per cent of JK, 53 per cent of SK, 37 per cent of Grade 1, and 45 per cent of Grade 2 students met or exceeded the established benchmark, compared to 24 per cent, 39 per cent, 31 per cent and 40 per cent respectively for the pilot year in 2003.

Local early literacy levels lagging behind provincial standards

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton area students are falling short on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), according to a progress report presented recently to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

The board's goal was for 55 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, which was only achieved by the Senior Kindergarten class (in which 65 per cent reached the goal).

The provincial standards call for 75 per cent to meet or surpass the appropriate reading level. The assessments are administered to each class between JK and Grade 3, in the Spring and Fall, and are used to gauge early literacy. The test has been in place since 2003.

Board staff plan to use the results to form a plan of action, according to Superintendent Krys Croxall. Because the test is an assessment tool for the schools and board, with no academic repercussions for the individual student, the test's standards can be adjusted. Other boards have found that students fare better in the long run by raising the bar for the lower grades, allowing for a slower learning curve later on.

The board is looking at a variety of strategies to help students and teachers meet the goals, largely focusing on early identification and intervention for problem readers, said Croxall. Implementing best practices at the classroom level is also key, she said.

The goal for next year is for 65 per cent of students to reach the appropriate benchmark, with the provincial goal of 75 per cent reached by 2008, according to the report.

The results show a steady improvement over time for all grades. However, the board is monitoring the current Grade 1 class carefully; the test results suggest that this grade may be struggling with the material, with only 43 per cent reaching the goal. The board will be consulting with neighbouring boards to determine if the problem is systemic, or isolated to Hamilton.

Girls consistently out-perform boys on the test. Girls in JK surpassed boys by seven per cent; girls in SK surpassed boys by 15 per cent, with 73 per cent reaching the target reading level, compared to 58 per cent of boys. Girls in Grades 1 and 2 surpassed the boys by 11 per cent, while six per cent more Grade 3 girls passed than the boys in the 2005 test.

Students in English as a Second language (ESL) programs fared worse than other students, but the records show steady improvement over the years, in all years but Grade 3, where the number of students meeting or exceeding expectations has remained steady around 38 per cent. According to the report, 43 per cent of JK, 53 per cent of SK, 37 per cent of Grade 1, and 45 per cent of Grade 2 students met or exceeded the established benchmark, compared to 24 per cent, 39 per cent, 31 per cent and 40 per cent respectively for the pilot year in 2003.