School rankings released

Once again the Fraser Institute has released their annual school rankings.

Once again the Fraser Institute has released their annual school rankings and one local elementary school is near the bottom, while another is in the middle.

The Fraser Institute’s elementary school rankings are based on province-wide Foundation Skills Assessments (FSA) at grades 4 and 7 levels. The rankings also take into consideration a number of relevant, objective indicators of school performance.

Hutton Elementary School was ranked 463rd out of 978 schools in the province with a 6.1 rating in 2013-14. Dr. D.A. Perley Elementary School was near the bottom of the list of schools with a ranking of 916th out of 978 with a rating of 3.3 for 2013-14.

School District 51 board chair Teresa Rezansoff dismisses the Fraser Institute results as being inaccurate and biased.

“I don’t think there’s any validity to them at all,” said Rezansoff, who is also the president of the B.C. School Trustees Association. “There are so many other factors that they take into account that have absolutely nothing to do with student learning–in the sense of the things that happen in the school. I don’t think they’re relevant.”

Rezansoff doesn’t think the low scores at Perley are any cause for concern. “Our students, they rank at or above expectations or above the average of the province in the testing that we do provincially, the testing we do locally. The stats we get in all the data we keep—our students are at the very minimum at or above provincial standards.”

Hutton’s 2014 academic performances:

Grade 4 reading – 505 (499 in 2013)

Grade 4 Writing – 585 (537 in 2013)

Grade 4 Numeracy – 488 (466 in 2013)

Grade 7 Reading – 469 (542 in 2013)

Grade 7 Writing – 569 (632 in 2013)

Overall rating out of 10 – 6.1 (6.6 in 2013)

Hutton’s Grade 4 enrolment was 35. The percentage of special needs students was 7.5.

Perley’s 2014 academic performances:

Grade 4 reading – 477 (480 in 2013)

Grade 4 Writing – 619 (621 in 2013)

Grade 4 Numeracy – 464 (548 in 2013)

Grade 7 Reading – 442 (455 in 2013)

Grade 7 Writing – 435 (579 in 2013)

Overall rating out of 10 – 3.3 (6.0 in 2013)

Perley’s Grade 4 enrolment was 42. The percentage of special needs students was 11.4.

The Fraser Institute’s secondary school report cards are compiled using provincial exam results, grade to grade transition rates, and graduation rates.

Grand Forks Secondary (GFSS) saw big increases as the school’s overall rating went from 5.8 out of 10 in 2013 to 6.7 in 2014. GFSS is ranked 96th out of 289 schools throughout the province ranked in 2013-14.

Grade 12 enrollment at the school was 71, while the percentage of special needs students was 8.5. The graduation rate in 2014 was 94.3 per cent, up from 2013’s 93.2. The average exam mark was 69.6 per cent in 2014 up from 69.2 in 2013.

“We don’t place a lot of emphasis of the Fraser Institute’s report; however, it feels good to see our kids performing well,” said Scott Stewart, GFSS principal. “It only measures one aspect of a school and compares public schools to private schools. While we continue to work hard to prepare kids academically, our emphasis has been on building connectedness and grit, which, of course, also helps kids be successful.”

Boundary Central Secondary (BCSS) received an overall rating of 4.8 in 2014 down from 5.1 in 2013.

BCSS was ranked 225th out of 289 schools in 2013-14. The Grade 12 enrollment for the school was 28, while the percentage of special needs students was 13.8. The graduation rate was 95.5 per cent in 2014 down from 100 in 2013. The average exam mark was 68.5 per cent in 2014 down from 69.6 in 2013.

Christina Lake Elementary School does not appear in the rankings as each school must have a minimum number of students in the grades from which the data is drawn.