Friday, 19 October 2012 08:48

Test results show good performance from PRSD students

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While there is always some improvement to be made, overall officials with Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) are pleased with how their students continue to perform well on both diploma exams and provincial achievement testing.

The results of both were discussed at the Oct. 9 regular board meeting.
“Overall our results are really strong,” said Prairie Rose Superintendent Doug Nicholls. “Let’s not overreact one way or another, up or down on one particular set of results, one particular year,” he added.
When it came to diploma exams, excellence results in PRSD were higher than the Province on two of 10 exams but acceptable results were higher on seven of 10.
The exam averages were higher than the Province on three of 10 exams, while participation rates were higher on five of 10.
Showing up as an issue for the division is the diploma exam excellence results. This year the overall average of the 10 tests was 13.3 per cent achieving excellence, a drop of almost six percentage points from last year’s 19.1 per cent.
When it comes to the percentage of students achieving acceptable on the exams, PRSD exceeds the provincial average by about three percentage points.
“Our acceptable numbers are great, but our excellence needs improvement,” said Brad Volkman, assistant superintendent.
He pointed out the school division also has a higher participation rate than the Province.
“The question we will be asking ourselves and looking at the process of asking our administrators and our teachers is are we challenging our higher-aptitude learners enough?” said Brian Andjelic, deputy superintendent.
Volkman added division officials aren’t going to get excited about the dip in excellence results but it is something to take a closer look at.
“It is clear we need to review how we are supporting our high-aptitude learners,” added Nicholls.
PRSD also has a high number of students taking advantage of Rutherford scholarships each year. According to the most recent accountability pillar, 71.9 per cent of students in Prairie Rose are eligible for the scholarships, 10 percentage points above that of the Province.
The need to focus more on excellence results is also true for the achievement testing in grades 3, 6 and 9.
Participation rates are higher in PRSD than the province on eight out of 10 exams, while acceptable rates were higher on nine out of 10 tests. Excellence results were higher on only one exam out of 10.
Overall though, the results did increase over last year for Prairie Rose students.
“Even though we are climbing the Province is staying ahead of us. We are going in the right direction,” said Volkman.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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