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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Marshall McLuhan Catholic S.S. strives to prepare students to achieve success in all their academic pursuits. Literacy is one of the pillars supporting student success. The staff encourages literacy development within all subjects.   
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) 
Each year, grade 10 students are eligible to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). As described in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test: Framework, the test has been designed to “determine whether a student has the reading and writing skills required to meet the standards of the Ontario Curriculum across all subjects up to the end of grade nine.”  This test is created, administered and scored by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) which is an independent agency of the Ontario government


The successful completion of the OSSLT is one of the requirements for earning an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students who are unsuccessful on their first attempt may write the test the following year.  Students who are unsuccessful on both attempts may enrol in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course. If a student passes this course, he/she will fulfill his/her literacy requirement.


The OSSLT will be administered on March 31, 2016.



A modified schedule has been created to facilitate the administration of these tests. Please make note of the following schedule:
THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2016 (DAY 2)
Morning Schedule
8:40 – 10:05
Gr 9     Write mock OSSLT
Gr 10   Write the OSSLT
Gr 11   No classes
Gr 12   No classes
10:05 – 10:20
10:20 – 11:55
Gr 9     Safe Schools presentation in the Cafetorium
Gr 10   Write the OSSLT
Gr 11   No classes
Gr 12   No classes
Common Lunch: 11:55 – 12:35 (There will be full cafeteria service on this day.)
Afternoon Schedule
12:35 – 1:35
ALL students have regularly scheduled Day 2 classes.
Sign-out will be not be permitted.
1:35 – 2:35
ALL students have regularly scheduled Day 2 classes.
Sign-out will not be permitted.
Full participation in afternoon classes by all students is expected.
If you have any questions, please contact the school at 416-393-5561.


What is the format of the OSSLT?


The OSSLT is comprises of two booklets. Each booklet has both reading and writing tasks.




 i. Tasks

Reading tasks include the following:
Ø  information paragraph
Ø  news report
Ø  dialogue
Ø  real-life narrative  
Ø  graphic text
ii. Types of Questions
The test includes the following types of questions:
MC = Multiple choice
OR = Open-response
iii. Target Skills
When informing students of the correct answer, identify the skill targeted for each question and explain the difference between each skill.  
      Understanding explicitly (directly) stated ideas and information
      Understanding implicitly (indirectly) stated ideas and information
      Making connections between ideas and information in a reading
       selection and personal knowledge and experience





i. Tasks
Writing tasks include the following:
Ø  Short-writing tasks
Ø  Long-writing tasks (news report & a series of paragraphs expressing an opinion)
Ø  Grammatical exercises
ii. Types of Questions
The test includes the following types of writing questions:
MC = Multiple-choice questions
OR = Questions prompting short-written answers 
OR = Questions prompting long-written answers
iii. Target Skills
The fundamental writing skills that need to be demonstrated in response to different writing prompts are:
Ø  developing a main idea with sufficient supporting details;
Ø  organizing information and ideas in a clear, coherent manner and
           using conventions (spelling, grammar, punctuation) appropriately and in
           a manner that does not distract from clear communication

For more information about this test, please visit 



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Ontario Comprehension Assessment (OCA) 
This is a diagnostic assessment that provides teachers with accurate and comprehensive information on student progress in reading. The OCA is administered twice a year to students in Grades 7, 8 and 9. Results are used by teachers for the purpose of designing effective strategies in planning next steps for instruction. 
After School Literacy Program 
This non-credit program is offered after school by certified teachers under the Student Success Program to help students meet the provincial curriculum standards for literacy. 


This eight-week program runs twice a year.


Time: 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.


Dates: November 16, 2015 - January 20, 2016 - Mondays and Wednesdays    

           January 26, 2016 - March 24, 2016 - Tuesdays and Thursdays


Registration forms are available from the Guidance Department.