High River, AB – While several overall measures related to student learning and achievement in Foothills School Division (FSD) remained strong according to provincial assessment results released yesterday, Superintendent John Bailey says the division is committed to continuous growth and improvement, and has identified focus areas for improvement in the year ahead.
Among the highlights for the 2014-15 year:
- Receiving an overall rating of excellent and significantly surpassing provincial averages:
o Dropout rate (1.4 % relative to 3.4 % provincially);
o Three-year high school completion rate (83.7 % compared to 74.9 % provincially).
- Receiving an overall rating of excellent and on par with provincial averages:
o Safe and caring schools (89.5 %);
o Program of studies (83.9 %);
o Education quality (89.4 %);
o Citizenship (82.6 %).
- FSD also performed well on measures related to:
o Rutherford Scholarship eligibility (65.8 % compared to 61.2 % provincially);
o Work preparation (79.6 %);
o Parental involvement (81.6 %); and
o Continuous school improvement (79.1 %).
The Division continued to see growth in student achievement in 2014-2015, particularly in the acceptable standard relative to provincial achievement results, with more than 87% of high school students writing Diploma Exams achieving the acceptable standard (compared to 85% provincially).
Other highlights include:
- Student achievement on Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) in the acceptable range (74%) was slightly above the provincial average (73%).
- Science 6* – an approximately 3% increase in the number of students achieving the excellence standard (26.1% compared to 23.4% a year ago).
- English Language Arts 30-1* – an increase in the number of students attaining the excellence standard (13.7% versus 12% a year ago), more than 2% higher than provincial results.
- Social Studies 30-1* – students achieving the excellence standard increased more than 7% over the previous year (21.7 % versus 14.3%), 5.5% higher than the provincial average.
- Chemistry 30* – significant improvement in the percentage of students achieving the acceptable standard (80.6% compared to 71.9% a year ago).
* Figures are based on achievement by actual students writing the exams
Areas of growth and focus for the 2015-16 school year include:
- Overall PAT results in the excellence category (FSD currently at 14.5%; Province – 18.8%);
- Overall Diploma excellence rating (FSD 17.9%; Province 21%);
- Overall Diploma exam participation rate – four or more Diploma exams (FSD 43.6%; Province 54.9%);
- PAT exams – increase acceptable standard at the grade 9 level, (English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies), and excellence standard at the grade 6 and 9 levels (every subject area tested);
- Physics 30 and Biology 30 are below provincial levels;
- Through a variety of instructional programs, sustaining the emphasis on the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills, which are vital to student success in school, work and life.
“This provincial data is one indicator of how our division is performing as a whole,” explains Bailey. “We carefully review and evaluate this information with our school administrative teams to identify strategic priorities for the year ahead, at both the system and individual school levels, as part of our focus on continuous improvement. We are committed to improving student success in all of the measures we look at, including provincial exam results.”
“While we are pleased with much of the work that goes on across FSD, we also recognize that we must continue to work diligently to improve learning for all students, particularly in a number of areas we have identified as areas for growth and focus,” Bailey added.
“While the overall results are positive, as a school system we believe that we must always strive to improve,” says Christine Pretty, Chair, FSD Board of Trustees. “On behalf of our board, I commend system leaders, school administrators and staff in Foothills for their ongoing efforts to improve student learning as a whole.”
Divisional education plans and annual results reports must be submitted to Alberta Education by the end of November. As part of the process, FSD schools will be working on strategies toimprove student learning. In the meantime, for more information about provincial assessment results at your child’s school, please contact the school principal.