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B.C. schools honoured for academic performance and improvement at annual Weston Awards

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Release Date: November 19, 2009

VANCOUVER, BC-Twenty-six schools from across British Columbia were recognized for ongoing academic improvement and achievement at the annual Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education dinner in Vancouver Wednesday.

Awards were presented in two categories, each reflecting different aspects of academic success. Improvement in Academics recognizes elementary schools that have experienced the fastest, most consistent improvement in their academic performance over the past five years. Determination in Academic Achievement recognizes the top-performing elementary and secondary schools where the average parental income at the school is among the bottom 25 per cent of the province.

"The teachers, administrators, and support staff from these schools have an unparalleled dedication to teaching which is reflected in their students' triumphs," said Lisa-Diane Fortier, Fraser Institute associate director of Outreach Programs, School Performance Studies.

"Every single year, these educators are finding new ways for their students to succeed in reading, writing, and math, and it's important that they receive the accolades they so richly deserve." 

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 British Columbia's Elementary Schools and Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and Yukon . Out of 223 secondary schools and 952 elementary schools included in the Report Card, only the top 30 performers in each category were invited to participate in the awards.

L.V. Rogers Secondary School of Nelson won the award for Determination in Academic Achievement - Secondary along with a $3,000 prize. Runners-up were Princess Margaret Secondary School of Surrey, which was a runner-up in this category in 2007 as well as a School of Distinction in 2006, and Boundary Central Secondary School of Midway, which earned School of Distinction recognition in this category in 2006 and 2008. Each received a $1,000 prize.

Khalsa School of Vancouver won the award for Determination in Academic Achievement - Elementary along with a $3,000 prize after earning School of Distinction recognition in this category in 2006 and 2007. Runners-up St. Jude School of Vancouver, which was named a School of Distinction in this category in 2007, and Montecito Elementary School of Burnaby, which has earned School of Distinction recognition in this category every year since 2006, each received a $1,000 prize.

Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School of Sparwood, a community about 125 km east of Cranbrook, won the award for Improvement in Academics - Elementary along with a $3,000 prize. Runners-up were St. James Catholic School of Abbotsford, for the second year in a row, and Rosedale Elementary School of Rosedale, which was a runner-up in this category in 2007. Each received a $1,000 prize.

All of the remaining school teams received School of Distinction recognition.

One common misconception about the Weston Awards is that only the most privileged schools are honoured for outperforming the rest of the province on the Ministry's standardized tests.

"In fact, the Weston Awards recognize schools in two areas. One category acknowledges where these schools were five years ago in terms of academics and how far they've come since then. The other recognizes schools located in environments where many would say consistent student success is not possible," Fortier said.

"These awards are about encouraging excellent educators to keep doing what they're doing to provide students a better education. Their commitment to excellence cannot be understated."

Complete list of all Weston Award-winning schools



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