GM Dawson’s poor academic results being taken seriously

  • Nov. 5, 2003 1:00 p.m.

The school district is taking the poor Grade 10 test results at Masset’s GM Dawson high school seriously, and making changes that will mean improvements are coming, according to superintendent of schools Mike Woods.
Last month, the province released details of its yearly fundamental skills tests, which all Grade 10’s, 7’s and 4’s in the province take. Students at GM Dawson did poorly last year, with only 42-percent meeting provincial expectations in math and reading, and just 29-percent coming up to provincial standards in writing.
Already at the school, grades 8 and 9 are getting more instruction in language skills, according to Mr. Woods, and the school now has a set of goals and strategies designed to make improvements.
The goals include improving reading, comprehension and writing skills, improving math skills, and improving levels of social responsibility for all students.
Some strategies include working with teachers to be more effective in teaching the three ‘r’s, reducing the use of calculators in lower grades, and finding ways to more effectively deal with disruptive behaviour in the classroom. Details can be found in the GM Dawson school plan, available from the school board.
Mr. Woods also says poor performance in Grade 10 can be the result of problems earlier on, and the district’s literacy and numeracy initiatives, already in place, should be helpful.