The 2015-2016 Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Examination results are out for Alberta, and students from the Golden Hills School Division are performing well and continue to improve in many ways.
Bevan Daverne, superintendent of the Golden Hills School Division, commented on the results stating, “We’re happy with the continued improvement we have. We’re really happy to see our students are continuing to do well and continue to improve, and we’re very proud of the work our teachers have done as well in working with kids.”
“We are feeling good about the results that we have back,” said Daverne.
The school division saw increases in the number of students achieving Acceptable Standard over the previous year in eight of the nine diploma courses.
Also, a higher number of students achieved the Standard of Excellence in five of the nine diploma courses compared to last year.
Students surpassed the Provincial Standard of Excellence benchmark in five of the nine diploma courses including English 30-1, Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Physics 30, and Math 30-1.
Provincial Achievement Tests
Grade 6 and Grade 9 students across Alberta took the provincial achievement tests. According to Alberta Education, these tests are administered to determine if students are learning what they are expected to learn, report how well students have achieved provincial standards, and assist schools and the province in monitoring and improving student learning.
Not everyone agrees on whether conducting provincial achievement tests is a truly reflective measure of education.
However, according to the Calgary Board of Education, “Provincial tests are one part of a balanced, broad-based program of student assessment. When analyzed along with many other indicators of student learning, provincial tests provide information to guide our educators as they set targets for student achievement and track the results of school improvement initiatives.”
In the Golden Hills School Division, the percentage of students in Grade 6 and Grade 9 that achieved Acceptable Standard improved over the previous year in five out of the eight test areas or subjects.
In addition, Grade 6 math, Grade 9 English Language Arts and Grade 9 Science all showed strong standings by scoring above the provincial average in the number of students achieving acceptable standard.
The percentage of students that achieved the Standard of Excellence improved in three out of the eight tests, and seven subjects including Grade 6 Language Arts, Science, Social, Grade 9 Language Arts, Science and Social all exceeded the provincial Standard of Excellence.
Daverne stated, “There’s always a little bit of variation from school to school,” in results and the school division has not had a chance yet to pull out all the specific detailed information.
However, each school has their own release and principals from each school will communicate specific school results to those in attendance during upcoming school council meetings. In addition, each school will report results in the Annual Educational Plan and Results Report. The reports will be available on school websites by Nov. 30.
According to Daverne, the school board focuses on a few key things.
First, the school division focuses on really having kids be a part of their learning, and finds it important that students understand why they’re learning, what they’re learning and specifically what the goals for their learning are.
These goals may be varied and include goals for a class, a unit or for the day.
“The more that they are plugged in to what it is they’re learning, what they’re supposed to learn and why that’s part of their learning, we find the better that they do,” said Daverne.
The second thing that the division focuses on is that kids are engaged in their learning and that learning is motivational.
The third division focus is providing an atmosphere where teachers are able to collaborate with one another to improve the learning of students.
Bevan said that the school curriculum has been developed over the years with school divisions and teachers working in concert together.
“Everybody’s working together and as a result, when you look at the end game, we have very good results,” he said.
The Golden Hills School Division’s board of directors publicly commented on these latest test results and stated, “We are all very pleased to see the continuous growth of our students’ achievement level. The Board is grateful for all the hard work teachers, support staff and parents have done to help support students.”
The Golden Hill School Division has 15 regular public schools, two alternative Christian program schools, two virtual schools, three outreach schools and 18 Hutterite schools.