(Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert high school trending upward on Fraser Institute’s rankings

SD52 superintendent Irene LaPierre says it’s just a number

Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) is trending upward on the Fraser Institute report card handed out to its B.C. schools on Thursday, June 27.

Charles Hays was ranked at a 5.4 out of 10, 0.6 down from last year’s ranking. Overall though, the school ranked 167 out of 251 schools included in the list. This an upward trend, after the average for CHSS over the past five years has been a ranking of 201.

Graduation rates rose by less than one per cent this year for an average of 91.2 per cent of students graduating. The average exam mark also rose to 67.8 per cent from 66.4 per cent in 2017.

READ MORE AND PHOTO GALLERY: Onto the next chapter for Prince Rupert’S 2019 grads

Charles Hays Secondary School rankings according to the Fraser Institute report card for the 2018 academic year. (Fraser Institute 2019)

For elementary schools, Lax Kxeen saw the biggest improvement, having gone from a 3.4 out of ten in 2014 to a 5.6 this year. Overall it ranked 567 out of 955. In the past 5 years the school’s average has been 717 out of 805. Annunciation remains Prince Rupert’s highest performing elementary school by the institute’s standards.

Prince Rupert’s elementary school rankings according to the Fraser Institute report card for the 2018 academic year. (Fraser Institute 2019)

Irene LaPierre, superintendent of School District 52 (SD52) said that she does not pay much attention to the report card, even when CHSS is reported to be doing well.

“It is about measuring [the student’s] strengths, determination, and resiliency. It’s not about a number,” she said.

Fraser Institute takes into account the amount of students and grades when putting together their report cards. The socio-economic conditions that students and communities encounter in their educational journey are not taken into consideration.

“We want to be ready for where the students are when they come to us and embracing their strengths,” said LaPierre.

LaPierre, who is serving her first year as superintendent, also said that overall SD52’s graduation rates are increasing including those of Indigenous students. This year SD52 has also implemented a literacy intervention program to help students read at the national standard by the end of Grade 3.

READ MORE: More staffing for PRMS, reversal of cuts, and increase to literacy intervention fund

Studies show that the more kids reading by end of Grade 3 means the more likely they are to graduate. Data from February to end of June shows that SD52 students are already improving on their reading skills.

“I am so proud of our students they are the picture of resiliency,” said LaPierre.

Comparison of Charles Hays Secondary School, Prince Rupert with Caledonia, Terrace and Mount Elizabeth, Kitimat according to the Fraser Institute report card for the 2018 academic year. (Fraser Institute 2019)

READ MORE: Fastest improving schools are in cities including Agassiz, Kitimat and 100 Mile House

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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