Halifax – Things appear to be improving, this is the cautious conclusion of the authors of AIMS’ Seventh Annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools. While there has been movement in both directions over the years, Newfoundland and Labrador has had several schools show improvement in the past five years.

“Schools are getting better,” says AIMS Research Manager Bobby O’Keefe. “Not everywhere and not every year but the early indications are that even schools with some of the worst grades in the early years are moving up over time.”

Four schools in Newfoundland have seen a steady improvement over the years to move up at least two grade levels, including this year’s top school, J.M. Olds Collegiate in Twillingate. J.M. Olds’ grade improved from a ‘B’ in RC4 to an ‘A-’ in this year’s report. The other schools that saw a two grade level improvement all moved from a ‘C+’ to a ‘B’ – Holy Heart High School in St. John’s, Mount Pearl Senior High, and St. Kevin’s High in the Goulds.

Together the four schools – urban, suburban, and rural, with enrolments ranging from about 100 students to over 900 – show that improvement can be found in schools of all shapes and sizes.

As for the overall grades this year, J.M. Olds Collegiate in Twillingate moves up a grade level this year from ‘B+’ to ‘A-’ to become the top school in Newfoundland and Labrador. Bay d’Espoir in Milltown keeps its ‘B+’ grade and moves up one place to second, while last year’s top school, Gonzaga High School in St. John’s, maintained a ‘B+’ grade but fell to third overall. Clarenville High School saw the biggest improvement from last year, rising from a ‘B-’ to a ‘B+’ this year. No schools saw their overall grade fall by more than one grade level.

Perhaps the biggest story in Newfoundland and Labrador is the low number of schools receiving a final grade. In many cases this is because there are a large number of small schools in the province and we are unable to receive students’ results from university and community college for those schools as a result of Protection of Privacy rules. This includes two private schools, St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s and Eric G. Lambert All Grade in Churchill Falls. Both volunteered all of the data their schools were missing from the province’s publicly available information, but did not receive a final grade because we could not collect the data from at least two post-secondary institutions with results for at least five students.

Whether the successes we see in the overall trends are due to fundamental changes at the schools, a change in staff, or the statistical aberration of consistently convincing parents to send only the overachieving kids to school, the AIMS Report Card does not and can not say.

The AIMS Report Card is a descriptive tool only, meant to encourage informed engagement by the school community with the school. Now it is up to those who want to learn from or continue the early successes to ask the right questions and apply the lessons learned.

The AIMS report is published annually in Progress magazine and a complete copy can be found as a centre insert in the latest issue. This is the seventh year the magazine has dedicated an edition to AIMS’ high school report card.

To view the complete 7th Annual Report Card for Atlantic Canadian High Schools, click here.

To view the final grades for Newfoundland and Labrador high schools, click here.

To learn more about the high school report card, click here.

Follow this link to AIMS’ Online Interactive Report Card.


For more information, contact:

Bobby O’Keefe, Research manager
902-429-1143 or 902-222-0944

Charles Cirtwill, Executive Vice President
902-429-1143 or 902-489-7699