Decker Lake Elementary school has however seen a substantial decline in its ranking. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

William Konkin Elementary’s rating improves while Decker Lake’s declines

Fraser Institute's latest B.C. elementary school rankings are out

  • Dec. 9, 2020 12:00 a.m.

William Konkin Elementary (WKE) school’s rating has gone up, while the Decker Lake Elementary’s rating has gone down significantly in 2019 according to the recently released Report Card on British Columbia’s Elementary Schools 2020 by Fraser Institute.

The company released its contentious report card on Nov. 24 and ranked 931 schools in the province based on academic indicators for reading, writing, numeracy of the Grade 4 average, Grade 7 average and Grade 7 gender gap.

WKE has been ranked 878 out of the 931 schools, much higher from last year’s rank of 920 out of the 955 schools reviewed. The report card also has the school rating at 3.1 compared to the 2018 rating of 2.7.

According to the report, improvements have been observed in Grade 4 average score in numeracy and Grade 7 average scores in reading and writing. The percentage of tests not written has also gone down from 25.2 in 2018 to 13.5 in 2019, improving the rating for the school.

According to the website, the school has 18.4 per cent special needs students. 30.6 per cent students in the school are enrolled in French Immersion, slightly higher than last year’s 29.6 per cent. It is a program that was earlier this year deemed unsustainable in a report released by the School District 91’s Board of Education. While any decision on the program’s future has been tabled until next year, parents and supporters of the program have been rallying together to keep the program going.

Decker Lake Elementary school has however seen a substantial decline in its ranking. The school has been ranked at 916 out of the 931 schools, compared to last year’s 927 out of 955 schools. The report card also has the school rating at 1.9 down from the 2018 rating of 2.5.

According to the report, while drastic improvements were observed in Grade 4 average writing scores, scores in all other aspects saw a decline, pulling the school’s ranking down.

The report also ranked three other schools within School District No. 91 (Nechako Lakes) – Fort St. James’ David Hoy Elementary, Vanderhoof’s W.L.McLeod Elementary and Evelyn Dickson Elementary.

All three schools rankings have improved from last year. David Hoy Elementary’s ranking has gone up from 833 out of 955 schools in 2018 to 785 out of 931 schools in 2019 and the school has scored an overall rating of 4.3 up from last time’s 4.0. W.L.McLeod Elementary’s ranking has improved substantially with 483 out of 931 as opposed to 2018’s 815 out of 955 with an overall rating that has gone up from 4.2 in 2018 to 5.8 in 2019. Evelyn Dickson Elementary ranked 651 out of 931 as opposed to last year’s 789 out of 955 and scored a 5.1 rating, an improvement from 2018’s 4.4 rating.

The institute released the rankings with an interesting observation suggesting that the B.C. elementary schools are capable of improving student performance despite location or student characteristics.

Peter Cowley, a senior fellow with the institute said in the press release, “We often hear that schools can’t improve because of the communities and students they serve, but the evidence suggests otherwise.”

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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