Math a breeze at LRHS
The Education Minister’s Report to Parents and Guardians, released on July 16, shows the South Shore Regional School Board is on the path to improvement.
The report focuses on mathematics and language arts test results, written in 2008. The test is developed by the province, and all students write them at the same time across the province. The scores reflected are the number of students who passed, rather than an average grade.
School Board Superintendent, Nancy Pynch-Worthylake was pleased to see the results, and says attention to math literacy is having an impact.
However she adds the results should not be seen as a complete picture of each school.
“ These results are one piece of the important information of school improvement.”
The results are taken seriously, she says, and when the staff returns in mid-August strategies to improve the marks are discussed.
When last year’s results were released, the early math results caused some controversy. It was the first year the test results were made public, and teachers feared it would give an unfair portrayal of the schools.
Since last year, the SSRSB’s early math literacy shot up 10 per cent, from 66 to 76.
Dr. John C. Wickwire had 71 per cent of 59 students passing, while North Queens elementary had 75 per cent of 24 students passing. The provincial average is 72 per cent.
One area of concern is high school mathematics. For the SSRSB, the average was 36 per cent of students passing Math 12. The provincial average is 51 per cent.
The school board is working together with math consultants and high school teachers, on how to improve the results. Pynch-Worthylake says each school has to be looked at individually, since the passing per cent can vary greatly.
Pynch-Worthylake says the focus on math has mostly been on Grade Primary to 9, so it will take a little time to see it have an impact on Grade 12 mathematics.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a surprise we’re not seeing an immediate impact.”
However one bright note is Liverpool Regional High School, which is well above the provincial average. Of the 31 students, 84 per cent passed the tests.
Terry Doucette, principal of LRHS, says traditionally the school has done well in both English and Math assessments, and says both departments are very strong.
“Communication is strong between the math teachers. Plus they’re experienced teachers,” he says.
Doucette says the quality of the math department comes from the experience of the teachers, plus a dedication they give to the students.
“I as principal am very proud of our students and staff.”
There is no data for North Queens Rural High School. The report states schools with small class sizes are not included because the marks could be linked to individual students.
Language Arts Literacy rates remained largely the same, with reading comprehension dropping one point from 86 to 85 per cent of students passing. The provincial average is 85 per cent.
However writing skills were up one point, from 89 to 90 per cent. The provincial average is 92 per cent.
Pynch-Worthylake suggests parents who see the results and have concerns talk with the teachers at the school. That way, they can talk about the individual student’s results on this and other assessments.
“Teachers would appreciate the opportunity to do that, because our focus has to be on student by student results.”
The results of all schools throughout the province are available online at www.ednet.ns.ca.