By David F. Rooney
The bar has been set at “high” this year as the school district unveils its 2009/2010 Achievement Contract — the official goals it submits to the Ministry of Education each year.
Superintendent Anne Cooper, told the SD 19 Board of Trustees last Tuesday evening that local students experienced some tremendous successes last year and that she hopes to see them repeated.
“We will continue to do what we do,” she said, alluding to the particular success the district has had with young readers.
Last year, system-wide Grade Ones almost met their goal, which was to have 83 per cent of students meeting or exceeding the expected reading levels. The actual result was 81 per cent.
Cooper had wanted 84 per cent of Grade Twos to meet or exceed the reading benchmarks. The actual result at year end was 92 per cent. This year the goal is 86 per cent.
“This might very well be the first indication we can see of kids reading well at Grade Two,” she said.
Last year, the district wanted to see 90 per cent of Grade Threes hitting their benchmark; 93 per cent of them succeeded. Cooper said that objective was realized two years ahead of its time and continues a six-year success streak with Grade Threes consistently hitting in the mid-to-high 90s. Their goal will again be set at 90 per cent, Cooper said.
An even higher level of achievement was reached last year when 99 per cent of Grade Fours met or exceeded the benchmarks. Their goal last year was 90 per cent. It will remain at 90 for this coming school year.
“This was the highest success ever on the Foundation Skills Assessment at this grade level,” Cooper told the board. “The cohort includes 24 per cent of students exceeding expectations.”
She said the district’s education system remains very successful and quite strong. Part of that is due to its ardent embrace of Early Childhood Development programs and the quality of the instructors hired to staff the city’s four elementary schools and one high school.
Another measure of success is Revelstoke Secondary School’s continuing success at achieving graduation rates “well above the provincial average,” says the introduction to the achievement contracts.
“The average dogwood completion rate for the last five years has been 84 per cent,” it said. “In 2008 our secondary school graduated 95 per cent ofd first-tiome graduates, the highest rate every; 85 per cent of first-time Grade 12 aboriginal students and 100 per cent of first-time Grade 12 special needs students. Annually approximately 30 per cent of our students graduate with honours. Revelstoke students continue to enjoy very high levels of participation and achievement in provincially examinable subjects.”
You can read the full achievement contract online at www.sd19.bc.ca/