PARKDALE – The more the merrier when it comes to information on how your school is doing say a couple of local high school principals.
Both Eileen English of North Nova Education Centre and Jim Ryan of Pictou Academy/MacCulloch School say they welcome the recently released Atlantic Institute for Market Studies eighth annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools.

North Nova is in the midst of an accreditation process, said English.
“We’ve been gathering data for the last three years. We’re going to be reviewing it (AIMS report) over the next little while…We’ll be looking at that and seeing where we can improve.”

She said the study’s methodology leaves something to be desired.
“They don’t look at every student. They look at certain courses. There’s so much else to be taken into consideration.”

Music is one area they don’t include in the study, English said, noting that NNEC is recognized for the strength of its music program.

North Nova received an overall performance grade of C+ along with an overall achievement grade of B– . It was ranked 46th out of 60 schools in overall performance.

North Nova’s highest ranking was an A– in post-secondary achievement.
“We were pleased to see that for sure,” English stated.
Ryan said the AIMS report is a tool.

“It’s always interesting, it’s another way to measure ourselves. We’re always interested in the achievement data…It’s always nice to see where you stand. It’s one piece of data that you can use to see where you can improve.”

One concern Ryan has with the report is the impact on percentages when dealing with a small student population like Pictou Academy. If two or three students in a small class size leave the area it can have a drastic impact percentage-wise on an category like Grade 10 students moving on, for example.

PA earned top marks for post-secondary achievement, coming home with an A+.

“Our achievement numbers have always been high.”

Rankings that deal with the results of standardized provincial exams do hold some water, Ryan noted, as they are independent of school size.
Pictou Acadmey ranked 24th of 60 schools in overall performance. It received an overall performance grade of B – along with an overall achievement grade of B +.

Principal Bob Ballantyne of Northumberland Regional High School was unavailable for comment.

NRHS earned a grade of C in overall performance and C+ in overall achievement with a B – for post-secondary achievement. It ranked 54th of 60 schools in overall performance.