Two Local High Schools Show Big Increase In Math Scores

Two local high schools have been recognized for improving their provincial math scores.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is celebrating the results at Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School in Leamington and Essex District High School in Essex as their applied math scores for grade 9 students have steadily increased in the past five years.

The EQAO says the educators in these schools have applied different strategies that have helped students.

Over at Cardinal Carter, the percentage of students in applied math that have met the provincial standard has jumped from 21% in 2011-2012 up to 66% in 2015-2016.

At Essex District High School, 39% of students in applied math met the provincial standard in 2011-2012. In 2015-2016, it jumped up to 62%.

Essex District High School Principal Mike Hawkins credits part of the improvement towards their peer tutoring program.

"Our math head Mr. Phinney tutors the tutors and then allows those students to help some of the students in grade 9 math classes to gain concepts that they're newing closed gaps in knowledge from elementary school from along the way," says Hawkins. 

Hawkins also thinks part of their success can be attributed to an increased focus on analyzing EQAO results from grades 3 and 6.

"So that they're caught up and then they can move forward because math is so sequential that moving forward and having those concepts down is very important... so that's one area we've really concentrated on. As well as a diagnostic test that our former math head developed for our incoming grade 8 students so that we get a gauge of what's go on along the way from grades 3 and 6 — again, so that we're looking at ways to close those gaps."

Both schools have also seen a steady increase in students doing well in academic math as well.

— with files by AM800's Bob Becken