Halifax – The news from AIMS’ Seventh Annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools is good. While there is movement in both directions, more schools have seen their grade improve than decline in the past five years. Nova Scotia led the way with more than twice the number of improving schools than those seeing their grade fall.

“Schools are getting better,” says AIMS Research Manager Bobby O’Keefe. “Not everywhere and not every year but the early indications are that even schools with some of the worst grades in the early years are moving up over time.”

Perhaps no school has seen such an improvement as Hants North Rural High School in Kennetcook. After receiving a ‘D’ in three consecutive report cards, last year Hants North saw some improvement in certain measures but didn’t receive a final overall grade. This year that improvement continued and Hants North’s final grade has risen to a ‘B-’. While it still sits at about the provincial average, climbing from the bottom to the middle of the pack is no easy feat. Hants North was one of the first schools AIMS visited in our effort to show schools how to use the report card to improve performance.

Additionally, in Nova Scotia alone, Canso Academy, Drumlin Heights Consolidated School in Glenwood, Holy Angels High School in Sydney, Lockview High School in Fall River, and Halifax West High School have all seen their grades improve by three levels – showing that big or small, rich or poor, rural or urban, all school are capable of improvement.

There are a couple of highlights in Nova Scotia this year. The first is the addition of four new measures. Thanks to AIMS’ many battles with school boards over access to public information about school performance, everyone now has access to Attendance Rates, along with Teacher Assigned Grades in Math, Science, and Language Arts in Nova Scotia schools.

Even with the additional measures, the top two schools from last year’s report remain the same. Cape Breton Highlands Academy in Terre Noire and Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford both achieved ‘A-’ grades to maintain first and second place in the Nova Scotia. Cape Breton Highlands maintained its grade from last year while C.P. Allen improved upon last year’s ‘B+’. Barrington Municipal High School improved from a ‘B’ and joined the top two schools with an ‘A-’ grade to take third spot.

The second highlight is the separate grading of schools in Nova Scotia’s Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. Differences in provincial exams kept us from doing a full comparison of these schools with their English counterparts in the past. While only a couple of schools have a final ranking this year (mainly due to the small enrolment which brings privacy issues into play), a separate analysis of these schools allows us to provide a wider range of data for anyone examining the performance of these schools. École du Carrefour in Dartmouth receives a final grade of ‘B’ while École secondaire de Par-en-Bas in Tusket earns a ‘B-’.

Whether the successes we see in the overall trends in Nova Scotia are due to fundamental changes at the schools, a change in staff, or the statistical aberration of consistently convincing parents to send only the overachieving kids to school, the AIMS Report Card does not and cannot say.

The AIMS report is a descriptive tool only, meant to encourage informed engagement by the school community with the school. Now it is up to those who want to learn from or continue the early successes to ask the right questions and apply the lessons learned.

The report card is published annually in Progress magazine and a complete copy can be found as a centre insert in the latest issue. This is the seventh year the magazine has dedicated an edition to AIMS’ high school report card.

To view the complete 7th Annual Report Card for Atlantic Canadian High Schools, click here.

To view the final grades for Nova Scotia, click here.

To learn more about the high school report card, click here.

Follow this link to AIMS’ Online Interactive Report Card.


For more information, contact:

Bobby O’Keefe, Research Manager
902-429-1143 or 902-222-0944

Charles Cirtwill, Executive Vice President
902-429-1143 or 902-489-7699