MUSKOKA, ON-The Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) is putting the Grade 9 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) tests on hold.

Grade 9 students were meant to start their math tests on January 13th but have been put on pause due to the job action taken by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

The EQAO tests grades 3, 6, 9 and 10 and measures their skills in reading, writing and math, which lets the government know where students are at in their education.

In an interview with the MyMuskokaNow.com newsroom, Chair of the TLDSB Bruce Reain said that because of the job action, they do not have the number of people they need to conduct the tests. “We have been told by OSSTF that they are not prepared to assist in this particular endeavour for the grade 9 math.”

Reain said that when they conduct the EQAO’s, they need additional help to assist students who struggle. When the board received word that the OSSTF was not going to send help, they decided to postpone the tests.

When asked about when the tests may occur, Reain said that the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce suggested that students write the tests in June. “The problem with this is that only half of the grade 9 students will be taking math at that time while the other half will be doing something else and I feel there need to be discussions about this.”

Reain said that at the moment they are not sure when they will administer the tests.