News Releases
HCDSB News Release
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Halton Catholic Board Students Continue to Surpass Provincial Results on Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

​The Halton Catholic District School Board’s students, who participated in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), continued with the Board’s trend of achieving positive results, maintaining the high rate of success seen over the past several years. The test was conducted in April, 2011 by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

Overall, the results indicate that a greater percentage of the Board’s secondary school students, compared to the province, successfully completed the OSSLT. In the group of students who wrote the test for the first time (i.e. students who entered Grade 10 in 2010), 91% did so successfully.

“Our Board is proud of the success of each our students and secondary schools. Our students continue to demonstrate high levels of achievement in this provincial assessment,” says Michael W. Pautler, Director of Education, Halton Catholic District School Board. “It is through the collective work of our students, parents, teachers, principals and support staff that our Board is able to achieve results above the provincial average on the OSSLT.”


“Students, teachers, school leaders and parents are to be congratulated for their hard work and exemplary accomplishment,” says Jacqueline Herman, Superintendent of Education, School Effectiveness. “Sustaining such high levels of student achievement over time takes concerted, intentional effort and is the direct result of the dedication of all our school teams, who work diligently and in partnership with our parent communities to respond to individual student learning needs.”
The OSSLT is based on the expectations for reading and writing across all core subjects in The Ontario Curriculum up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the OSSLT is one of the requirements leading to an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The test is marked on a successful/unsuccessful basis according to criteria established by the EQAO. Students must successfully complete both the reading and writing components of the test to be considered successful. Students who are deemed unsuccessful in their attempt (i.e., wrote the OSSLT, but did not pass or did not fully participate in the OSSLT due to absence or deferral) are eligible to retake the test during future administrations and/or participate in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).
The EQAO Individual Student Reports are used by school staff to identify students who may want to participate in the remedial assistance program and/or register in the OSSLC.
The Halton Catholic District School Board’s Improvement Plan for Student Achievement helps all schools to implement evidence-based strategies in the areas of teaching and learning, data analysis and interventions to ensure achievement for all learners and increase student, parent and community engagement.
This past year, the following strategies have been implemented to provide students, parents/guardians and teachers with skills for improving literacy development:
  • Use of the literacy benchmark assessment resource (Ontario Comprehension Assessment), as well as past Ontario Secondary School Literacy Tests, to assess students’ reading and writing skills
  • Assessment information is used to identify areas of difficulty in order to determine focus for teacher professional learning
  • Professional learning focused on embedding specific reading and writing strategies in all curriculum areas in the applied level
  • Teacher moderation and sharing of effective instructional practices
  • Creation of a literacy profile for all at-risk students
  • Individual student follow-up to identify areas of need and to set learning goals
  • Students who were at-risk of not being successful on the OSSLT based on the assessment data were enrolled in the after-school literacy program
  • Increased student involvement in the assessment process; i.e. enhanced understanding of success criteria, use of exemplars, providing multiple opportunities to identify the qualities of Level 4 work and engaging in the self-assessment process
  • Differentiated-instruction, focusing on higher level thinking skills for all students
  • Using the Professional Learning Cycle, teachers of various subject areas are collaboratively planning and teaching lessons focusing on explicit literacy instruction based on students' needs

Board and individual secondary school results are outlined in the chart below.

The Halton Catholic District School Board is committed to continuous growth and improvement. This is reflected in its dynamic planning for the future, which includes building respectful, equitable, responsive, inclusive and engaging environments that are conducive to student learning and are reflective of Gospel Values, Catholic teachings and the Catholic Graduate Expectations.​


The Halton Catholic District School Board is a model learning community, widely recognized as distinctively Catholic. A provincial leader in student achievement, HCDSB provides exceptional educational experiences and services to over 34,000 students of all ages. God’s call to love and to serve is nurtured across our 46 elementary schools, 9 secondary schools, and 3 continuing education facilities, serving the communities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. With a focus on Achieving, Believing, and Belonging, we provide our students and staff with the tools for realizing their fullest potential, while also instilling a life-long commitment to the community.

tag line

Media Contact:
Jacqueline Herman
Superintendent of Education (School Effectiveness)
Halton Catholic District School Board
905-632-6314, ext. 120
Alternate Media Contact:
Lisa Stocco
Communications Services
Halton Catholic District School Board
905-632-6314, ext. 126

 Other News Releases