More than a number
Although the Fraser Institute has listed Char-Lan District High School as the highest ranked secondary school in Glengarry, don’t look for the school’s principal to do a dance of joy over the announcement.
Chad Brownlee, who replaced Catherine Cooper as principal only four short weeks ago, says he’s always happy to get favourable news about the Williamstown high school, but points out that his school is a lot more than just a test score.
“The school is more than the EQAO (Education Quality Accountability Office) results,” he says. “There’s a lot of good
things going on at Char-Lan that make it go beyond a test.”
The Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based organization that describes itself as the “top think tank in Canada,” ranked Char-Lan 68th out of 747 schools in the province. The school itself received a rating of 7.9 out of 10 on the institute’s annual report card.
According to the institute’s website: “We base our overall rating out of 10 on the school’s performance on seven indicators, all of which are derived from provincewide tests of literacy and mathematics skills that are administered by the province’s EQAO.”
Mr. Brownlee’s comments are fairly typical of educators, who tend to see the report card as a “snapshot” of how a school performed on a typical day. He said that the Upper Canada District School Board’s focus on math and literacy played a role in his school’s above average performance.
He also credited the school’s staff with bringing about the change.
“We’re a small school so we have close relationships with all our kids and we work hard with them,” he said.
On the same report card, Glengarry District High School in Alexandria was ranked 292, Holy Trinity in South Glengarry was ranked 431, Tagwi Secondary School in Avonmore was ranked 453 and L’École catholique secondaire Le Relais in Alexandria was ranked 507th. Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute placed 596, while l’École secondaire catholique régionale de Hawkesbury was 612.
One of the top rated schools in the province is L’École secondaire publique Le Sommet, which was ranked 25th.