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Guelph school board postpones Grade 9 EQAO math test amid work-to-rule campaign

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Students in Guelph’s public school board will not be participating in Grade 9 standardized math testing this month.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) testing was scheduled to start next week but due to a work-to-rule campaign by public high school teachers and educational workers, students were not being prepared for it.

READ MORE: Ontario education minister says school boards can delay Grade 9 EQAO testing

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) also planned to not administer the test or mark it amid contentious contract negotiations with the province.

The Upper Grand District School Board, which covers Guelph along with Wellington and Dufferin counties, said in a post on their website on Thursday that testing would be postponed.

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They added the job action would make it difficult to implement certain accommodations for students that are usually provided by teachers and educational workers.

“These accommodations would include scribing, the reading of questions and access to specialized versions of the test material,” the board stated.

Click to play video: 'Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce on EQAO testing in real jeopardy of being cancelled' Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce on EQAO testing in real jeopardy of being cancelled
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce on EQAO testing in real jeopardy of being cancelled – Jan 8, 2020

There could also be an impact on Grade 9 students’ final math grade this semester because Upper Grand includes the EQAO test results in students’ overall mark.

“Teachers will weigh all evidence of student achievement and will use their professional judgement to determine the student’s report card grade,” the board said.

The government said students who do not take the EQAO test will need to take it in June, but the board said they will await further direction from the Ministry of Education with regards to a make-up test.

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“Staff would then work through the logistics of administering a make-up test as this would pose significant challenges to both school staff and Grade 9 students who are not studying math in semester two,” the board said.

READ MORE: Teachers in Ontario’s French-language system vote 97 per cent in favour of strike

Upper Grand said different schools throughout the board were scheduled to administer the test on different dates, but classes will be run as normal now that students will not be taking it.

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