NL continues to lead the way with 66% of schools earning a B or better

Halifax – When AIMS issued its first Atlantic Canadian High School Report Card in 2003 six schools received an A+ or an A. This year only one school out of 316, Islands Consolidated School in Freeport, Nova Scotia, earns an A.

“We have a lot of good schools in this region”, says Charles Cirtwill, vice president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), “but we have few schools that are running away from the pack. In fact, what we see in this year’s results are a lot of schools falling into the pack and others dropping behind it.”

The report card is published annually in Progress business magazine and a complete copy can be found as a centre insert in this month’s issue. This is the fourth year the magazine has dedicated an edition to the AIMS Report Card.

The news this year is not good. In francophone New Brunswick only 8 schools received a B or better, compared to 11 last year. In Anglophone New Brunswick that number is 16, compared to 21 last year. In Nova Scotia there are 24 schools above a B but there were 29 last year. In Prince Edward Island the ten schools assigned a final grade split evenly; 5 with a B, 5 with a C+.

But the news is not all bad, Newfoundland and Labrador had only 49% of its schools score a B or better last year, they improve that to 66% this year. So two thirds of their schools are better than average.

There is, however, a decline in the number of schools that receive an overall grade because of the ongoing challenge of securing complete data from education officials about what goes on in schools. Says Cirtwill, “AIMS, and anyone interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools, is dependent on what the educators make available in terms of data. If the data is not recorded and reported then we have to assign those schools an Incomplete.”

The number of schools in this report card that could not be assigned a final grade has swelled to 108 of 316. Last year that number stood at just 47. However, some data is available on just about every school.

Also available this year is an on-line report card that provides the public with all of the measures available for 316 high schools in Atlantic Canada. Parents, students and teachers can review this information by simply visiting the AIMS website at .

“The purpose of the report card is to help all of us understand what is going on in our schools and work toward making it better for everyone,” says Cirtwill. “With the on-line report card, everyone can look at all the information that AIMS has collected for the last two report cards and do their own school comparisons and trend analysis.”

Users can access individual school data, compare schools, and also compare results based on specific criteria.

“If you are interested in math, or science, or language arts, you can do a comparison to see how schools fared in those particular subjects,” says Cirtwill. “This is a valuable tool for students, parents and teachers to learn exactly what is going on in our public schools.”

AIMS also mailed individual report cards to every high school, parent-teacher association, student council and school board in the region. This mail out included the grades for the school on both this year’s and last year’s report card and a “how to” guide for schools and school communities to use the Report Card to its greatest effect. For a copy of the “How to use the AIMS Report Card” guide, click here.

“The Report Card is a guide,” says Cirtwill. “It tells you where you should be asking questions and what types of questions you should be asking. If your math exam scores are low and half your kids are generally absent, then you have one problem. If everybody has been in class, and your exam scores are low, you have another.”

“The Report Card also helps you identify who to look to for suggestions on how to help,” he explains. “Find schools that have the same inputs as you but do better on their outcomes, talk to them. But don’t stop there, find schools that excel where you do not, even if you are a big urban school and they are a small rural school, what they are doing might actually work for you too, but you won’t know if you don’t ask. Every school does something well, the exchanges can and must be a two-way street.”


To access more information and results tables, click on the links below:

For more information, contact:

Charles Cirtwill, AIMS vice president 

Barbara Pike, AIMS Director of Communications
902-446-3543 / 902-452-1172