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Ontario schools recognized for academic performance and improvement at annual Weston Awards for excellence

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Release Date: April 8, 2009

TORONTO, ON-Eighty schools from across Ontario were recognized as the top performers in three categories of academic achievement at the fifth annual Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education dinner in Toronto Tuesday.

The awards are based on an analysis of the Ministry of Education's student results data for each school included in the Fraser Institute's annual Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools . Out of 2,786 English and French, public and separate elementary schools from across Ontario, only the top one per cent (i.e., the top 30 schools) in each category were invited to participate in the awards. About 550 educators from across the province attended the reception and awards dinner.

Awards were presented in three categories, each reflecting different aspects of academic success. Improvement in Academics recognizes schools that have experienced the fastest, most consistent improvement in their academic performance over the past five years. Determination in Academic Achievement recognizes schools that ensure that their students succeed regardless of the hurdles they may face. This award challenges the notion that only schools in rich neighbourhoods perform well academically. The award for Overall Academic Achievement recognizes schools whose students have achieved remarkable, ongoing academic success over the past five years.

"The teachers, support staff, and administrators from these schools are pathfinders who continually find new ways to help their students achieve more in school. We are delighted to honour their hard work and achievement," said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Fraser Institute. "Celebrating the accomplishments of these educators enables them to share their successes and inspire others."

Seaforth Public School of Seaforth, a community in the municipality of Huron East, won the award for Determination in Academic Achievement along with a $3,000 prize after earning School of Distinction recognition in this category last year. Runners-up Cornell Junior Public School of Toronto and Ogden Community School of Thunder Bay-both of which earned School of Distinction recognition in this category last year-received a $1,000 prize.

St. John Vianney School of Barrie won the award for Improvement in Academics along with a $3,000 prize. Runners-up were Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic School of Toronto, which won in this category last year, and Saint Joseph Catholic School of Niagara Falls. Both schools received a $1,000 prize.

Continuing its winning streak, Seneca Hill Public School of Toronto won the award for Overall Academic Achievement along with a $3,000 prize for the fourth year in a row. Runners-up were Kennedy Public School of Toronto, which received School of Distinction recognition in this category at last year's awards, and Denlow Public School of Toronto, which was first runner-up in this category last year. Both schools received a $1,000 prize.

The remaining school teams-all among the top one per cent in their categories-received School of Distinction recognition.

"Regardless of whether they finish as a winner, a runner-up, or a school of distinction, the school teams being honoured by the Weston Awards are among the very best in the entire province. This should be cause for a great deal of pride and celebration," Cowley said.

Click here for a complete list of award-winning schools.



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