SD 54 reconfig. (Houston Today File photo)

Twain Sullivan and Silverthorne Elementary ratings decline

Fraser Institute’s latest B.C. elementary school rankings are out

Twain Sullivan Elementary and Silverthorne Elementary schools ratings have gone down in 2019 according to the recently released Report Card on British Columbia’s Elementary Schools 2020 by Fraser Institute.

The company released its contentious report card on Nov. 24 and ranked 931 schools in the province based on academic indicators for reading, writing, numeracy of the Grade 4 average, Grade 7 average and Grade 7 gender gap.

Twain Sullivan Elementary has been ranked 673 out of the 931 schools, much lower than last year’s rank of 353 out of the 955 schools reviewed. The report card also has the school rating at 5.0 compared to the 2018 rating of 6.5.

According to the report, while improvements were observed in Grade 4 average score in reading and writing, all other scores have gone down, including substantial decline for Grade 7 average scores in reading, writing and numeracy. The percentage of tests not written has also also gone up from 2.6 per cent in 2018 to 6.3 per cent in 2019, bring down the overall rating for the school.

According to the website, the school has 7.7 per cent special needs students.

Silverthorne Elementary school has seen a slight decline in its ranking. The school has been ranked at 574 out of the 931 schools, compared to last year’s 596 out of 955 schools. The report card also has the school rating at 5.5 down from the 2018 rating of 5.6.

According to the report, while drastic decline was observed in Grade 4 average writing scores and slight declines in other scores, pulling the school’s ranking down.

The report also ranked three other schools within School District No. 54 (Bulkley Valley) – Smithers’ Muheim Elementary, Smither’s Walnut Park Elementary and Telkwa’s Telkwa Elementary.

Except Telkwa elementary, whose ranking has improved from last year, the other two schools’ rankings have declined. Telkwa Elementary’s ranking has gone up from 694 out of 955 schools in 2018 to 574 out of 931 schools in 2019 and the school has scored an overall rating of 5.4, up from last time’s 5.0. Muheim Elementary School’s ranking has gone down with 188 out of 931 as opposed to 2018’s 160 out of 955 with an overall rating that has gone down from 7.5 in 2018 to 7.3 in 2019. Walnut Park Elementary ranked 574 out of 931 as opposed to last year’s 333 out of 955 and scored a 5.4 rating, a decline from 2018’s 6.6 rating.

The institute released the rankings with an interesting observation suggesting that the B.C. elementary schools are capable of improving student performance despite location or student characteristics.

Peter Cowley, a senior fellow with the institute said in the press release, “We often hear that schools can’t improve because of the communities and students they serve, but the evidence suggests otherwise.”