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Waterloo public school board postpones EQAO test, Catholic board remain uncertain

Students at public schools in Waterloo region will not be taking the EQAQ tests next week. File / Getty Images

Students in Grade 9 at public high schools in Waterloo Region will have some extra time to bone up on their math skills before taking the EQAO test.

The tests were to be held next week but Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced on Wednesday that boards across the province could make their own decision on whether to conduct the tests in January or in June.

Teachers at public high schools across the province have been on a work-to-rule campaign since November that includes not preparing students for that test.

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

The Waterloo Regional District School Board announced late Wednesday afternoon that its students will not take the tests this month.

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

“Since students will not be completing the assessment, schools will eliminate the assessment from the overall mark calculations,” the board’s statement read. “Students’ final grades will not be impacted by the absence of this assessment.”

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The board says that if the tests do occur in June, a plan will be developed for how they will be conducted.

READ MORE: Next OSSTF strike will not affect schools in Waterloo Region, Guelph, board says

Teachers at Catholic high schools across the province are currently in negotiations with the province on a contract of their own.

On Wednesday, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association announced they would be starting their own work-to-rule campaign which will include not participating in standardized testing, preparing report cards or participating in Ministry of Education initiatives.

Click to play video: 'Rotating teacher strikes close down several Ontario schools on Wednesday'
Rotating teacher strikes close down several Ontario schools on Wednesday

A spokesperson for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board told Global News that its plans for the Grade 9 EQAO testing are in flux with negotiations currently underway.

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READ MORE: Ontario public high school teachers to hold 4th day of job action

“Since the government and OECTA are continuing to bargain today, tomorrow and perhaps even into the weekend it would be premature to speculate on what may or may not happen,” WCDSB Chief Managing Officer John Shewchuk told Global News. “Things remain in flux.

“We will certainly know for sure where things stand come Monday and at that point, we’ll be in a position to confirm the status of Grade 9 EQAO in our schools.”

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