Halifax – Nova Scotia still falls far behind all other Atlantic provinces in providing basic information about school performance.

“For the first time in Nova Scotia we are able to compute post-secondary preparation measures for math and language arts,” says AIMS vice president Charles Cirtwill. “We also continue to have access to the sample of exams that are centrally marked to assess high school achievement. We use post-secondary achievement, moving-on rates and post secondary participation. So the report card has improved this year, but the picture is still nowhere near as complete in Nova Scotia as it is in neighbouring provinces.”

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.

Basic measures that are currently accessible in other Atlantic Canadian jurisdictions, but not Nova Scotia include: complete standardized test results, comparable teacher-assigned grades, attendance and discipline statistics, and postal code data that allow the creation of an accurate profile of the community served by the school. Without this information no one – not parents, teachers, students or policymakers – can really know what is going on in the province’s schools. But the report card remains the single most comprehensive source for information about our schools.

Once again Islands Consolidated in Freeport is the top ranked school in Nova Scotia, earning the province’s only ‘A’ grade. This school continues to excel in both absolute measures and measures in context. While above average in most measures, Islands Consolidated continues to do particularly well in both standardized testing and in post-secondary performance. Several schools made considerable improvements in performance over the past year. Of particular note is Cape Breton Highlands Academy that improved from ‘C+’ to a ‘B+’.

While no school in Nova Scotia earns a failing grade, three schools earn ‘D’ grades. They are: Hants North High School, Lunenburg Junior-Senior High School and River Hebert District High School. Hants North continues to struggle after earning a ‘D’ in the previous report card, while the latter two schools fall from ‘C+’ and ‘C’ grades, respectively.

In addition, a number of schools exhibit declines in their grades over the past year. These include: Rankin Memorial School falling from an ‘A’ to a ‘C+’ (declining in three separate areas: grade 10 moving-on rate, post-secondary achievement, and the provincial language arts exams), Pictou Academy-Dr. T. McCulloch School falling from a ‘B+’ to a ‘C+’, and Musquodoboit Rural High School falling from a ‘B’ to a ‘C’.

Grades are based on a three-year rolling average. If a school does not have at least two years of data for a particular measure, it will not receive a grade for that measure. RC4 is based on data from the school years 2001-02, 2002-03, and 2003-04. All available data is posted on line at www.aims.ca, even those schools that do not receive a final grade.

To view the results for Nova Scotia schools, click here.


For more information, contact:

Charles Cirtwill, AIMS vice president

Rick Audas, report co-author

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