Elementary school one of the best

  • Apr. 25, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Sk’aadgaa Naay elementary school in Skidegate is one of the best schools in the province when it comes to aboriginal student achievement, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute. The Fraser Institute’s “Report Card on Aboriginal Education in British Columbia 2011”, released last month, lists Sk’aadgaa Naay as number two out of the 52 elementary schools included. Sk’aadgaa Naay is the only elementary school on Haida Gwaii in the report, presumably because the other schools did not have a high enough enrollment. The report looked at how aboriginal students did on the Foundation Skills Assessments of reading, writing and math skills, which are written by all students across the province in grades 4 and 7. The latest report uses data for the 2008-2009 school year. The aboriginal students at Sk’aadgaa Naay performed well above the provincial aboriginal average on all the tests, and in the case of grade 7 writing and math, their results were above the provincial average for all students. School district superintendent Angus Wilson said Sk’aadgaa Naay has done consistently well on this report, so he wasn’t surprised by the results. He’s also not paying too much attention to them, saying that the school district has far better data about student performance than the Fraser Institute does. “It’s not that I’m displeased with them doing well,” he said. “But I always begin with the caveat that it’s an extremely limited measure… You have to be really skeptical of these things.” Mr. Wilson said Sk’aadgaa Naay benefits from well-organized community support programs and a strong group of teachers who have been at the school for a long time. The report also looked at the achievement of aboriginal students in BC high schools, using data from provincial exams written in 2009 and the graduation rate for that year. G.M. Dawson Secondary is near the bottom of the list of 63 schools; Queen Charlotte Secondary was not included. Although the average exam mark and graduation rate were lower for G.M. Dawson than the provincial aboriginal average, Dawson has been steadily improving on almost all the measures used by the Fraser Institute. The school’s graduation rate was the best it’s been in the past five years, its average exam mark has improved, and the number of exams failed has declined. Mr. Wilson said comparing G.M. Dawson to other high schools in the province on these measures is not all that useful. The local school district is very focused on aboriginal student achievement, he said, and has several programs in place to address it. “Our aboriginal grad rates are on par with, or better than, our non-aboriginal grad rates,” he said, although the overall grad rate for all students here continues to be below the provincial average, something the school district is trying to change. The report is available at the Fraser Institute’s web site.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read