The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, has released its newest school report card and this time-out Lake Cowichan Secondary School got an “A”. The rating for the 2010-2011 school year ranks LCSS as the top public secondary school in the district followed by Chemainus, Frances Kelsey and Cowichan.
“We’ve gone way up in ranking since last year’s report. We’re now 119 out of 280,” said LCSS Principal, Nicole Boucher. “I totally attribute this to the hard work of the staff and students.”
The sometimes controversial report card is based on a variety of statistical information, including things like the percentage of Grade 12 students who graduate, number of exams failed and the margin between provincial exam marks and the actual marks that teachers give their students.
“The comparison between our teachers’ marks and the provincial exam marks are down to a very small margin,” said Boucher. “But I think the biggest factor in this was the grad rate. We had 100 per cent last year.”
The Fraser Institute, which describes itself as a non-profit, independent, public policy, research and educational organization, releases its report card on schools annually and the ratings are often contentious. The overall ratings for this report are: LCSS — 6.3, Chemainus — 6.0, Frances Kelsey — 5.3, Cowichan — 4.6. The two private schools in the area rated highly, with Brentwood College achieving a 9.6 rating and Shawnigan Lake earning 8.4.
“Not everyone puts a lot of store in this,” said Boucher. “We certainly don’t need this to validate what we do.”
Boucher points out that although the grade that LCSS received is much higher than in the past, the school has employed many of the same staff for the past ten years. She gives credit to past principal, Peter Jory, vice-principal, Dani Garner and the dedicated staff at LCSS.
“Regardless of where the schools in our district fall in the rankings, it is very important to remember that all of our secondary schools are excellent schools and that teachers, support staff and administration all do wonderful work,” said Boucher. “We share ideas with one another and work together to create great learning opportunities for all the students in the district.”