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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Academics

At Stella Maris Catholic School, reading is everywhere, thinking is visible and audible and there are high expectations for students and teachers.  Teachers share a common focus to improving reading, engaging in professional collaboration and sharing responsibility and accountability for student learning.  The principal’s action is focused, designed to filter out distractions and ensure that no instructional time is lost, allowing teachers to what they do best – teach. 

Students benefit from the single focus that sees everything integrated into the primary goal of literacy. This has enhanced the quality of instruction and consistency in assessment across the school.  Teachers plan and discuss assessment together as a grade or division to build consistency and guide instructional practices.  Teachers explicitly model for students how to make connections within and across curriculum areas, and routinely use exemplars and anchors to guide students learning and achievement. Teachers use data to track all students’ progress and identify students requiring specific reading intervention strategies and opportunities.    
The focus on literacy and the alignment of instruction to the goal of improving reading can be credited for much of the increase in achievement scores as evidenced on the Primary and Junior EQAO assessments over the past several years.