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Elementary and Secondary Program Pathways and Achievement Outcomes Report Snapshot

Culture of Innovation, Social Responsibility and Caring

The OCDSB Strategic Plan 2019-2023 has three main objectives designed to drive a cultural shift to build and promote a culture of innovation, caring and social responsibility.

The Examination of Elementary and Secondary Program Pathways and Achievement Outcomes report is directly linked to goals that focus on the system’s responsibility to foster positive learning conditions for students and allow them to reach their full potential, including:

  • Championing high expectations for all students in all programs;
  • Prioritizing the dignity and well-being of students in inclusive and caring classrooms; and
  • Removing barriers to equity of access, opportunities and outcomes.

Key Questions

The report is guided by two key questions

1 - What is the representation of students across elementary programs (English with core French, early French immersion, middle French immersion) and secondary pathways (academic, applied, locally developed)?
2 - How well is the system doing to support students in meeting high expectations in French, Language, and mathematics (elementary panel) and English, math, and science (secondary panel)?

What we heard…

From Valuing Voices focus groups, 2019

“Streaming process in schools are ill-structured. We have to find better ways without being directly told what to do.”

“Assumptions around poverty-that kids can’t think/they can’t achieve-judging is dangerous. It is limiting.”

“Students are being contained between high achievers and low achievers. Unique value of each individual student is not being recognized. Students who do not fit into the norm are being tracked off.”

Data Sources

Information found in this report was compiled using OCDSB records and demographic data collected through the Valuing Voices – Identity Matters! Student Survey conducted in 2019-2020

Elementary and Secondary Program Enrolment

Based on 2019-2020 enrolment data

Elementary

Elementary program enrolment distribution:

53%

Early French Immersion (EFI)

37%

English with Core French

6%

Middle French Immersion (MFI)

Secondary (Grades 9 and 10 courses)

Secondary enrolment distribution for mandatory grades 9 and 10 English, mathematics and science courses:

English

83%

academic

15%

applied

2%

locally-developed

Math

72%

academic

21%

applied

6%

locally-developed

Science

79%

academic

15%

applied

2%

locally-developed

What we're seeing...

Based on their proportion within the OCDSB and data compiled through the OCDSB Valuing Voices survey

ELEMENTARY

English with Core French

At least 1.5 times higher...

The proportion of students enrolled in the English with core French program is at least 1.5 times higher for students who self-identified as:

  • English Language Learners
  • Indigenous
  • Students with special education needs (excluding gifted)

For the subset of students who participated in Valuing Voices, English with core French programs had at least 1.5 times as many students who self-identified as:

  • First Nations, Inuit (Indigenous Identity)
  • Middle Eastern (Race)
  • Trans Boy or Man, Two-Spirit, Gender Fluid (Gender Identity)
  • Addiction, Autism, Mobility (Disability)

Early French Immersion

At least 1.5 times lower...

The proportion of students enrolled in the Early French Immersion program is at least 1.5 times lower for students who self-identified as:

  • English Language Learners
  • Students residing in lower income neighbourhoods
  • Indigenous
  • Students with special education needs (excluding gifted)

For the subset of students who participated in Valuing Voices, Early French Immersion programs had at least 1.5 times fewer students who self-identified as:

  • First Nations, Inuit (Indigenous Identity)
  • Middle Eastern (Race)
  • Trans Boy or Man, Two-Spirit (Gender Identity)

Addiction, Autism, Blind/Low Vision, Development, Learning, Mobility, Speech Impairment (Disability)

Middle French Immersion

At least 1.5 times higher...

The proportion of students enrolled in the Middle French Immersion program is at least 1.5 times higher for students who self-identified as:

  • English Language Learners
  • Females

For the subset of students who participated in Valuing Voices, Middle French Immersion programs had at least 1.5 times as many students who self-identified as:

  • East Asian (Race)
  • Non-Binary, Trans Boy or Man, Two Spirit (Gender Identity)
  • Blind or Low Vision (Disability)

SECONDARY

At least 1.5 times higher...

The proportion of students enrolled in applied and locally developed courses was higher for students who self-identifed as

  • English language learners (ELLs)
  • Indigenous
  • Students with special education needs (excluding gifted)
  • Those residing in lower income neighbourhoods

The disproportionate representation was most pronounced in locally developed courses where the proportions of these students were at least 1.5 times higher.

For the subset of students who participated in Valuing Voices, applied and locally developed courses had at least 1.5 times as many students who self-identified as:

  • Indigenous (Indigenous Identity)
  • Black (Race)
  • Learning, Speech Impairment, Addictions, Developmental, Mental, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (Disability)

Consider 5,775 students in secondary mathematics...

An additional analysis was conducted for the examination of the pathways of a single cohort of 5,775 students from Grade 9 (2017-2018) through Grade 11 (up to end of June 2020), using their enrolment in mathematics courses as an indicator of program pathway mobility/retention.

Grade 9 academic: 4308 students
Grade 11 university-level course: 2721 students

_____________________________________________

Grade 9 applied: 1130 students
Grade 11 university-level course: 29 students

The findings illustrate that once a pathway has been chosen, students are likely to remain in it for the duration of their secondary education. While the data shows there is the potential for movement across program streams, it is not common.

Achievement Outcomes

Achievement outcomes provide a perspective on which students may face more systemic barriers.

Elementary:

Outcomes for the full population of elementary students (grades 1 to 8) ranged from 77% meeting the provincial standard in French (Reading and Writing) to 86% in Mathematics (a composite of all strands). The English with core French program tended to yield lower achievement outcomes, and immersion programs yielded higher ones.

Outcomes in French (Reading and Writing), Language (Reading and Writing) and Mathematics, tended to be lower for:

  • Males
  • English Language Learners
  • students residing in lower income neighbourhoods
  • students identifying as Indigenous
  • students with special education needs (excluding gifted).

The largest differences were for students with special education needs (excluding gifted) across all five subjects/strands. The largest difference was in French (Writing), where 61% met the provincial standard compared to 77% of all students.

For students who participated in the Valuing Voices survey, outcomes in French (writing and reading), Language (writing and reading), and Mathematics were generally:

Higher for students who self-identified as:

  • East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, White (Race)
  • Girl or Woman (Gender Identity)

Lower for students who self-identified as:

  • First Nation, Inuit (Indigenous Identity)
  • Black, Indigenous, Latino, Middle Eastern, another race not listed (Race)
  • Boy or Man, Gender Fluid, Trans Boy or Man, a gender identity not listed (Gender Identity)
  • Autism, Blind/Low Vision, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Developmental, Learning, Mental, Mobility, Physical, Speech Impairment, another disability not listed (Disability)

Secondary:

Outcomes in academic, applied, and locally developed English, math, and science for the full population of students tended to be lower for:

  • Males
  • English Language Learners
  • students residing in lower income neighbourhoods
  • students identifying as Indigenous
  • students with special education needs (excluding gifted).

The largest differences in outcomes were observed for students:

  • identifying as Indigenous in locally-developed English, where 18% met the standard (compared to 34% of all students) and locally developed science, where 36% met the standard (compared to 52% of all students);
  • with special education needs (excluding gifted) in academic math, where 57% met the standard (compared to 73% of all students).

For the subset of students who participated in the Valuing Voices survey, the following results were found:

English

Outcomes ranged from 34% of students meeting the provincial standard in locally developed English courses to 80% meeting the standard in academic English.

Higher outcomes across all three program pathways for students who identify as:

  • South Asian and White (Race)
  • Questioning (Gender Identity)

Lower outcomes in all program pathways were seen for students who identify as:

  • First Nation, Metis, Inuit (Indigenous Identity)
  • Black, Indigenous, Latino/Latinx, Middle Eastern (Race)
  • Gender Fluid, Trans Girl, Two Spirit, Gender not listed, Not Sure (Gender Identity)
  • Addiction, Learning, Disability not listed (Disability)

Mathematics

Outcomes ranged from 55% of students meeting the provincial standard in locally developed math to 73% of students meeting the standard in academic math.

Higher outcomes for students in all three program pathways who identify as:

  • South Asian (Race)
  • Gender Non-Conforming, Girl or Woman, Questioning (Gender Identity)

Lower outcomes were seen for students in all three program pathways who identify as:

  • Metis (Indigenous Identity)
  • Black, Indigenous, Latino/Latinx, Middle Eastern (Race)
  • Boy or Man (Gender Identity)
  • Addiction (Disability)

Science

Outcomes ranged from 20% to 100% of students meeting the provincial standard across academic, applied, and locally developed courses.

Higher outcomes for students in all three program pathways who identify as:

  • East Asian and White (Race)

Lower outcomes were seen for students in all three program pathways who identify as:

  • First Nation, Metis, Inuit (Indigenous Identity)
  • Middle Eastern (Race)
  • Another Disability not listed (Disability)
We are working to

narrow the achievement gap

for specific groups of students and

remove systemic barriers.

A number of Initiatives are currently underway. Here’s a sample:

  • Creation of a core Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy team
  • The introduction of Indigenous and Black Students Graduation coaches
  • New Gender Diverse and Trans Student Support Coordinator
  • Reach ahead and summer courses to support Indigneous, Black and English Language Learners
  • Winning Attitudes is a full-time cooperative education program, supported by two teachers, for underserved youth who are at risk of disengaging from school
  • The development of a professional learning community in eight secondary schools (G8) to focus on the needs of students who are falling behind in credit accumulation
  • We continue to explore the use of a Universal Screener to assist educators in identifying emerging student needs and determining appropriate instructional strategies to support students.
  • Mental health promotion and prevention is essential in building social emotional learning skills (e.g., identifying and managing emotions, healthy relationships, coping skills and problem solving skills) which helps reduce the likelihood of mental health problems developing or reduces the intensity of pre-existing mental health difficulties.
  • The Intensive Reading Intervention program is a new cross departmental Summer Learning Program which is available to support students in kindergarten to Grade 9 to address identified gaps in reading.Elementary and secondary school teams have been involved in a series of professional learning sessions focussed on the impacts of streaming and the disproportionate negative impact on specific groups of students through the streaming process.

The Indigenous, Equity and Human Rights Roadmap offers more information on the actions the OCDSB is taking to dismantle systemic barriers and bias. Learn more.

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613-721-1820
communications@ocdsb.ca