Gateway Gazette

Foothills School Division Shares Provincial Results and Focus Areas for 2016-2017

High River, AB – Overall measures related to student learning and achievement in
Foothills School Division (FSD) remained strong according to provincial assessment results released by
Alberta Education. Superintendent John Bailey says, “The Division is committed to continuous growth
and improvement and we have identified focus areas for improvement in the year ahead.”

Highlights from the 2015-16 year results:
  • Receiving an overall rating of excellent and/or surpassed provincial averages:

o Program of studies (85.1 % compared to 81.9% provincially);
o Dropout rate (1.9 % compared to 3.2 % provincially);
o Three-year high school completion rate (86.6% compared to 76.5 % provincially);
o PAT Exams – Acceptable standard (76.1% compared to 73.6% provincially);
o Diploma Exams – Acceptable standard (86.8% compared to 85.0% provincially.

  • FSD also performed well on the following measures:

o Education quality (89.2 %);
o Safe and caring schools (89.6 %);
o Citizenship (83.1 %);
o Work preparation (80.8 %);
o Parental involvement (81.6 %); and
o Continuous school improvement (79.8 %).

Areas of growth and focus for the 2016-17 school year include:
  • Overall PAT results in the excellence category (FSD currently at 15.6%; Province 19.4%);
  • Overall Diploma excellence rating (FSD 14.4%; Province 21.0%);
  • Overall Diploma exam participation rate – four or more Diploma exams (FSD 50.6%; Province
    54.6%);
  • PAT exams – increase acceptable standard at the grade 9 level, and standard of excellence at the
    grade 6 and 9 levels;
  • Diploma exams – maintaining and improving on acceptable standards and improving level of
    excellence in all courses.
  • 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.

 

The Division continued to see growth in student achievement in 2015-2016, particularly in the acceptable
standard relative to provincial achievement results, with 86.8% of high school students writing Diploma
Exams achieving the acceptable standard (compared to 85.0% provincially). Other achievement
highlights include:

  • Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) in the acceptable range (76.1%) was above the provincial
    average (73.6%), and there was an increase of results at the excellence level (from 14.5% to 15.6%)
  • English Language Arts 30-2 surpassed the provincial average at both the acceptable level (FSD
    93.2%; Prov. 89.1%) and excellence level (FSD 14.5%; Prov. 12.3%)
  • Mathematics 30-2 surpassed the provincial average at both the acceptable level (FSD 79%; Prov.
    75.4%) and excellence level (FSD 22.4%; Prov.16.8%)
  • Biology 30 results at both the acceptable and excellence levels improved from the three year average
    results for FSD (Acc. from 83.2% to 86.4% and Exc. from 27.1% to 28.2%)
  • Chemistry 30, Physics 30 and Science 30 results at the acceptable level improved from the three year
    average results for FSD:

o Chem. 30 from 75.8% to 78.3%
o Physics 30 from 74.2% to 85.5%
o Science 30 from 73.2% to 82.3%

“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,
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. We believe that public
education is about providing hope and opportunity for all students, and that means we must pay close
attention to areas for improvement and devote effort and resources to see improvement.” Bailey added.

“On behalf of our board, I commend system leaders, school administrators and staff in Foothills for their
ongoing efforts to improve student learning across the Division.” While we see growth and improvement
in a number of measures, as a school system we believe that we must always strive to improve,” says
Christine Pretty, Chair, FSD Board of Trustees. “We want to focus on providing excellent opportunities
for all of our students and provincial results continue to be an important measure for school divisions in
Alberta to assess areas of growth and improvement. We are confident that by working together we can
help our students achieve excellence.”

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 to improve student
learning. In the meantime, for more information about provincial assessment results at your child’s
school, please contact the school principal.

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