Halifax West High School is slowly climbing its way up the list of Nova Scotia schools graded annually by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

“Halifax West continues to edge its way ever so gently into the top ranks,” Charles Cirtwill, executive vice-president of the local think-tank, said of the seventh such report card released yesterday. “It moved … from probably the bottom half of schools back four or five years ago, and now they’re sixth overall.”

The Clayton Park school scored a solid B+, making it one of five schools in the province to improve by three grades over five years.

“They’re keeping kids in schools, (and) they’re doing well in terms of getting them prepared for those provincial assessments,” Cirtwill said.

Top scoring schools are also succeeding at preparing students for post-secondary education, he said, one of the outcomes measured on the report card. Other outcomes include attendance rates and student grades.

Cirtwill said not all Halifax area schools are doing as well. Cole Harbour District High School is one of the lowest schools on the list with a C grade.

Millwood High School in Lower Sackville only managed a C+, but Cirtwill said “that’s progress,” since it received a C grade last year.  Charles P. Allen High in Bedford is the top school in HRM, with an A- final grade.