N.L. cancels public exams, reassessing teaching model in K-12 schools

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Newfoundland and Labrador's English and French school boards have cancelled public exams for this year.  (Shutterstock - image credit)
Newfoundland and Labrador's English and French school boards have cancelled public exams for this year. (Shutterstock - image credit)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The English and French school boards have cancelled public exams for the 2021-22 school year, according to a media release issued by the Department of Education Wednesday morning.

The department said that while students in Newfoundland and Labrador experienced "less educational disruption" than most other jurisdictions in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, the change is being made to ensure they are assessed in a way that is reflective of both what they have learned and the circumstances they have faced.

"While our province's schools have fared relatively well amidst the pandemic, we recognize that the long-term impacts of COVID-19 disruptions may not be fully understood for some time," Education Minister Tom Osborne said in the media release.

The Education Department said, in lieu of standardized testing during the pandemic, teachers have focused on student engagement and "alternate means assessment."

The department said teaching in that way had a positive impact on attendance, learning, engagement and the well-being of students.

Further, officials within the department and the school districts are "undertaking an analysis of the status of public exams and assessment beyond this year."

They expect to provide an update before the start of the 2022-23 school year.

According to the Education Department, this longer-term review will also look toward a model that will empower teachers to enrich, extend and or shape curricular outcomes.

"The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District supports this approach as we look to ways to re-imagine learning and assessment within the entire K-12 school environment," said a statement from NLESD CEO Tony Stack.

"Our teachers are well equipped to assess student progress and determine learning outcomes and we look forward to future discussions as to how we can better focus on student engagement and measure student learning."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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