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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2004

Math students in public board continue to surpass province
The positive results continue for secondary math students in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB). For the fourth straight year, students achieved higher results than the provincial average on the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics.

Students in the Academic Program continue to demonstrate a sound understanding of the math curriculum. Of all students eligible to write the test for the Academic stream, 75 percent achieved the provincial standard, as compared to 68 percent provincially. Of all students eligible to write the test for the Applied stream, 39 percent achieved the provincial standard, as compared to 26 percent provincially. The provincial standard is defined as achieving Level 3 or 4, which is 70 percent and over.

“As a Board we are pleased with the positive trend in our Grade 9 math results. Our students continue to perform better than the provincial average,” remarks Judy Edgar, Chair of the Board. “Even so, our goal is to focus on students in the Applied stream by developing programming to help more students move towards the provincial benchmark.”

A comparison of test results between the 2003-04 results and those from the previous year indicates the upward trend is continuing:

Percent of Students at Provincial Standard (Level 3 or 4)
 
Academic Program
Applied Program
  2003-04 school year 2002-03 school year 2003-04 school year 2002-03 school year
HPEDSB Results
75
73
39
35
Provincial Results
68
66
26
21
Difference HPEDSB + 7 percent HPEDSB + 7 percent HPEDSB + 13 percent HPEDSB + 14 percent

Use of technology a factor in positive results
Students’ use of and comfort level with technology is part of the reason for the positive results. Graphing calculators help students to develop their understanding of math concepts without replacing learning, procedural skills or number sense.

“We have identified improvements in the use of graphing calculators as one factor in our positive result. Graphing calculators enhance higher-level thinking. Students use the technology for investigations which can help them understand the concepts behind mathematical relationships,” states Rob McGall, Superintendent of Instruction.

Additional initiatives to support students
In addition to the use of technology, the following initiatives designed to support students are underway:

Students in all publicly-funded secondary schools in Ontario, including 8 in HPEDSB, wrote the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) tests at the end of semesters 1 and 2 earlier this year. EQAO assessments indicate student achievement at a point in time and assist schools and boards in identifying areas for attention. Different tests are written for the Academic and Applied Programs.

A four-level rating scale is used to evaluate the tests:
• Level 4 is equivalent to a score of 80 percent or higher.
• Level 3 is considered the provincial standard and is equivalent to a score of 70 to 79 percent.
• Level 2 is equivalent to a score of 60 to 69 percent.
• Level 1 is equivalent to a score of 50 to 59 percent.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has 54 schools serving 18,700 students, employing 1,067 teachers and 775 support staff. The Board covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south, and Quinte West to the west.

For information, contact:
• Rob McGall, Superintendent of Instruction, (613) 966-1170, or 1 800 267-4350, ext. 2203 or 2204