As K-12 students settle into their first few weeks of classes in the new school year, the Department of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and the Conseil scolaire francophone provincial de Terre-Neuve et Labrador wish to advise students, teachers and parents that a decision has been made to suspend public exams for the 2021-22 school year.
While Newfoundland and Labrador has experienced less educational disruption than most other jurisdictions in Canada, this change is being made to ensure that students are assessed in a way that is reflective of both what they have learned and also the circumstances they have faced amidst the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, in lieu of standardized testing, educators have focused on student engagement and alternate means assessment. Supplementing traditional instructional and assessment practices in this way has had a positive impact on attendance, learning, engagement and the wellbeing of students. The department has confidence in the school districts, schools, and individual teachers to ensure completion of all prescribed curriculum in an engaging, active environment.
Officials within the department and the school districts are also undertaking an analysis of the status of public exams and assessment beyond this year, with a further update to be provided before the start of the 2022-23 school year.
As part of the Provincial Government’s commitment through the Education Action Plan to improve educational outcomes, this longer-term review will also look toward a model that will empower teachers to enrich, extend and/or shape curricular outcomes.