Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing.
Teaching & Learning Strategies:
This course has been designed to break down literacy skills into step-by-step processes. Students are supported to practice these skills in a risk-free environment, and to build confidence, before any formal assessment occurs. The teacher of the course will support individual learners' needs by providing timely, detailed, clear, and gentle feedback.
To achieve success in the literacy skills taught in this course, it is imperative that students complete work on their own, though students are encouraged to seek support in understanding course content and expectations.
Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Strategies of Student Performance:
Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education's Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.
Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by Virtual High School teachers. VHS assessments and evaluations,
are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
For a full explanation, please refer toGrowing Success.
The Final Grade:
The evaluation for this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student's overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student's grade is 50% or higher. The final grade will be determined as follows:
70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student's most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
30% of the grade will be based on final evaluations administered at the end of the course. The final assessment may be a final exam, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.
The Report Card:
Student achievement will be communicated formally to students via an official report card. Report cards are issued at the midterm point in the course, as well as upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on two distinct, but related aspects of student achievement. First, the achievement of curriculum expectations is reported as a percentage grade. Additionally, the course median is reported as a percentage. The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps. Second, the learning skills are reported as a letter grade, representing one of four levels of accomplishment. The report card also indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned. Upon completion of a course, VHS will send a copy of the report card back to the student's home school (if in Ontario) where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student's Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student's home address.
Program Planning Considerations:
Teachers who are planning a program in this subject will make an effort to take into account considerations for program planning that align with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy and initiatives in a number of important areas.