Elmira District Secondary School is rising in the rankings of high schools across the province.
EDSS is number 42 on a list of 676 schools judged by the Fraser Institute, a market-oriented think tank, using statistics from 2015.
The report takes into consideration the number of students who passed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), the gender gap between students in math, and the average level of Grade 9 math students at both the applied and academic levels.
Principal Paul Morgan says the results don’t hold much weight within the school or the board, and there are challenges when it comes to comparing one school to the other.
“We don’t use those (ratings) as a comparison. They are a one-time snapshot,” he said. “It isn’t as useful as it could be when we are looking at how we can continue in our attempts to improve things for the students and help our students be more successful. For every school, that can be different. (The Fraser Institute) is a third party. I have been at eight different schools and I haven’t had a chance to look at any rankings, and frankly, I seldom do. But, when you do look at them, what is important is finding a way to move our students forward and how we can best prepare them for the world they are going to be living in.”
In previous years, EDSS has ranked 48th on the list of nearly 700 schools, with scores ranging from 7.7 to 8.0. In 2014, the Elmira high school scored a 7.7 out of 10.
Morgan was happy to hear the school had such a high ranking compared to other schools in the province and says it is reflective of the staff and the efforts they put into student success.
“It is nice to have a good score. And I can attribute any improvements that do happen as a result of lots of hard work from our staff. They work really hard in terms of putting strategies and methodologies in place that are going to support the kids,” he said.
EDSS is the highest ranked high school in the Waterloo Region District School Board. Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School is sitting in 70th with a score of 8.0. The region’s other rural high school, Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School, sits at 272nd with a score of 6.6.