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Alberta schools honoured for academic performance and improvement at annual Awards for Excellence in Education

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Release Date: November 9, 2011
CALGARY, AB—Fifty-four schools from across Alberta were recognized for ongoing academic improvement and achievement at the annual Awards for Excellence in Education in Calgary Tuesday.

Awards were presented in three categories, each reflecting different aspects of academic success. The Garfield Weston Award for Improvement in Academics recognizes elementary schools that have experienced the fastest, most consistent improvement in their academic performance over the past five years. The Garfield Weston Award for Excellence in Language Arts recognizes elementary schools where, in each of the past five years, students have scored above average on Grade 3 and Grade 6 provincial achievement tests in language arts. The Imperial Oil Foundation Award for Excellence in Science honours elementary schools where students have performed above average on Grade 6 provincial achievement tests in science for the past two years.

More than 260 educators from 37 different schools attended the reception and awards dinner. They are among the 4,922 educators representing 964 schools from across the country that have been honoured at the awards, administered by the Fraser Institute since 2005.

“At these schools, teams of dedicated teachers, administrators, and support staff have found effective ways to inspire learning and academic excellence in their students,” said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies.

“They show that scholastic success is achievable in every school across Alberta, from Calgary to Coalhurst.” 

The Awards for Excellence are based on an analysis of Alberta Education’s student results data for each school included in the Fraser Institute’s annual Report Card on Alberta’s Elementary Schools. Out of 654 elementary schools included in the report card, only the top 30 performers in each category were invited to participate in the awards.

Calgary schools dominated the awards, placing first in all three categories.

Bowcroft School of Calgary won the award for Improvement in Academics along with a $3,000 prize. Runners-up were Silver Springs School, also in Calgary, and Youngstown School of Edmonton, which was named a School of Distinction in this category in 2009. Each runner-up received a $1,000 prize.

Webber Academy of Calgary won the award for Excellence in Language Arts along with a $3,000 prize after being named a School of Distinction in 2009. Runners-up were Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School of Okotoks, which was named a first runner-up in 2004, and Windsor Park School of Edmonton, which was also recognized in the Excellence in Science category. Each received a $1,000 prize.

Sunalta School of Calgary won the award for Excellence in Science along with a $3,000 prize. Mount Pleasant School and Windsor Park School, both in Edmonton, were named runners-up and each received a $1,000 prize.

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

One common misconception about the Awards for Excellence is that only the most privileged schools are honoured for their performance on the province’s standardized tests.

“The Awards for Excellence recognizes schools where the hard work of teachers, administrators, and support staff has paid off with students testing above average and learning to the very best of their ability,” Cowley said.

“The program celebrates public, private, charter, separate, and francophone schools alike to show that academic excellence is possible in every school across Alberta.”

Complete list of all Awards for Excellence-winning schools.


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