Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy named tops in Nova Scotia for third year in a row

TERRE NOIRE — For the third year in a row, a Cape Breton school has garnered the province’s top grade on a report card that ranks Atlantic Canadian high schools.

Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy scored a hat trick Tuesday after being named Nova Scotia’s top school by Halifax-based think-tank, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.
The Strait Regional School Board school, located along the Cabot Trail, has a current enrolment of approximately 390 students in Primary to Grade 12.

In the AIMS eight annual report card, Cape Breton Highlands maintained its A- grade from last year.
“Any time when any organization, AIMS or whomever, ranks your school as a top school in the province, it’s certainly something that makes you proud,” said Neil MacDonald, school vice principal.
While accepting the accolade, MacDonald said it’s difficult to judge high schools in the province because each has unique assets.

He credits their success to staff and an understanding school board, which he says allows them to carry out programs such as French immersion and a community based learning program.

“We have a very committed, energetic and enthusiastic staff,” said MacDonald. “No school is a school without that. We’ve been very fortunate in our 10-year history to always have that. Whether it’s being recognized by AIMS or not, I think that is the key to a lot of our success.”
Schools in the top three spots last year maintained their positions this year, with Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford and Barrington Municipal High School remaining in the second and third spots respectively.

“Two high schools in the province deserve congratulations for a two grade level improvement,” said report card co-author Bobby O’Keefe in a media release. “Both Memorial High School in Sydney Mines and West Kings District High School in Auburn moved from an overall C+ grade last year to a B this year.”

Three other Cape Breton schools — Richmond Academy in Louisdale, Breton Education Centre in New Waterford, and Dalbrae Academy in Southwest Mabou — earned a B grade.

Inverness Academy, the Rankin School of the Narrows in Iona, Glace Bay High School and Riverview Rural High School in Coxheath each earned a B- grade were.

The Strait Area Education-Recreation Centre in Port Hawkesbury and Sydney Academy both  received a C+, while Cabot High School in Neil’s Harbour ranked 58 out of 60 schools in the province with a C.

In the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Holy Angels High School and Baddeck Academy were unranked.

And for the second year in a row, Nova Scotia’s Conseil scolaire Acadian provincial schools were graded separately. Out of four schools in the province, Ecole NDA in Cheticamp took the second-place ranking with a B- grade.