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Update Re: Secondary Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting 2020-2021

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

We are writing to share information about Secondary Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting for 2020-2021. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the TDSB has made adjustments to the assessment, evaluation and reporting process that align with the Ministry of Education’s Guidelines. We are committed to supporting the unique needs and situations of students and their families by responding with flexibility and understanding.

Regular communication between home and school is a priority and teachers will continue to reach out to parents/guardians to discuss student progress. Suggestions for regular communication (e.g. virtual, phone) may include parent-student-teacher conferences, portfolios of student work, student led conferences, interviews, etc. Special consideration will continue to be given to students who may not yet be meeting minimum course expectations and who are at risk of not earning a credit.

Reporting for the 2020-2021 School Year Within Quadmester (Quad) Model

At the midpoint of the course teachers will share information about a student’s progress and a focus on improvement prior to the end of the course. For the first quadmester, teachers will share student progress with students and families during the week of October 19-23 using available digital tools (e.g. MarkBook, Brightspace, Google Classroom). Schools will not be issuing formal written mid-term Provincial Reports Cards.

At the end of each quadmester, Ministry Report Cards that include final marks, comments and learning skills will be completed by teachers for courses that students have completed during that period. Students who are enrolled in Civics and Careers Courses will receive a Ministry Report Card at the end of each course, which falls mid-quadmester.

For Intensive Support Programs, including Developmental Disability Programs in regular and congregated sites on a full year or semester schedule, a formal mid-term report including a mid-term mark and comment will be provided on the Provincial Report Card. This will be true for any course running a full semester/year within the TDSB’s quadmester model.

30% Final Evaluation (Exam Days) for 2020-2021 School Year

The Ministry of Education has informed school boards that they have the option of removing designated exam days from their school year calendar and using them for in-class instructional time. Given the exceptional circumstances this year and the complexities of running exams in both a virtual and in-person setting, the TDSB has chosen to cancel exams for quadmesters 1 and 2 and final marks will be based on coursework and in-class end of quadmester assessment of learning. Further information will follow for the remaining quads, pending current local health and safety guidelines.

Course Withdrawal

Students will have five (5) days after teachers communicate mid-term marks (week of October 19-23, 2020) to withdraw from their course without the credit appearing on their transcript. Generally, students who have over 23 credits and are in their final year can withdraw from a course. Schools can withdraw students from courses until November 2, 2020 (Drop Date), without the credit appearing on the student transcript. Consultation with the Guidance Department is important to make sure that students continue to fulfil their graduation requirements. Drop date deadlines for each quadmester are:

  • Quadmester 1: November 2, 2020
  • Quadmester 2: January 18, 2021
  • Quadmester 3: April 5, 2021
  • Quadmester 4: June 7, 2021

Community Involvement Graduation Requirements

For students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year, the Ministry of Education is revising the 40-hour community involvement graduation requirement to a minimum of 20 hours. This recognizes that graduating students have had barriers to earning their community involvement hours last school year and may continue to experience barriers this school year. The Ministry is also providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21. Students should continue to seek out and accumulate community involvement hours in accordance with TDSB policies and procedures, keeping in mind local public health unit recommendations.

Students may consider virtual volunteering, such as connecting with seniors, organizing virtual fundraising events and facilitating discussions with newcomer youth. Outdoor volunteer opportunities could include, for example, picking up litter. Volunteer opportunities, such as connecting young people to be technology mentors to seniors, can be found through agencies such as Spark Ontario.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

For students who are otherwise eligible to graduate before February 2021, but have not yet met the literacy requirement, Principals have the discretion to directly enrol students in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). Alternatively, these students may be offered an adjudication process in order to complete the literacy graduation requirement. For students graduating in June 2021, the Ministry currently plans to proceed with the graduation requirement and students may satisfy the literacy graduation requirement, as per regular practice by:

  • Writing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in Spring 2021 (more information will be available in the future);
  • Enrolling directly in the OSSLC in the 2020-21 school year; or
  • Participating in an adjudication process.

Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) and Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) Updates

Information about OCAS and OUAC will be provided by schools. All secondary schools will be updating their OCAS/OUAC eligibility at the beginning of each Quadmester. The TDSB Virtual Secondary School will be responsible for the OCAS/OUAC reporting for students and all Grade 12 students in the Virtual Secondary School will be flagged for OCAS and OUAC. Further information will be provided by schools to all Grade 12 students.

If you have any questions regarding assessment, evaluation and reporting please contact your child’s teacher or school principal directly. Thank you.