EIPS scores high on PATS and diplomas

EIPS released its province-wide PATS and diploma exam results and EIPS board chair Trina Boymook said the board is very impressed with students, teachers and parents in the district. Supplied

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Schools boards across the province are likely hoping they aren’t getting graded on a curve as students from Elk Island Public Schools are excelling at the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATS) and diploma exams.

EIPS students achieved strong results yet again, according to the recently released province-wide PATS and diploma exam results.

“We’re certainly very pleased,” said EIPS board chair Trina Boymook. “Within Elk Island Public Schools, students in Grade 6 and Grade 9 write the PATS and outperformed the provincial averages in all subject areas and overall 85 per cent of Grade 6 and 9 students achieved acceptable standards, with 29 standard of excellence. The province rates these scores that we received as high and very high respectively.”

Grade 6 students did exceptionally well in the 2018-19 English language arts, French language arts, math, science and social studies in both the acceptable standard category and the standard of excellence category.

Grade 9 students were no slouches either. They exceeded the provincial averages for the PATS and scored notably high in English language arts, science, math, and social studies.

When it comes to diploma results, EIPS students earned strong marks in English language arts and science.

“Part of the board’s strategic plan is a priority on literacy and numeracy and that students experience a minimum of one-year growth each year,” Boymook said. “We are really starting to see that effort and focus really paying off. It is showing up in our PAT results and our diploma exam results.”

There are a number of students who achieved marks at the acceptable standard in English 30-1, English 30-2 and Science 30. In the standard of excellence category for diplomas, Boymook said students at EIPS schools scored particularly well in English 30-1, Math 30-2 and Science 30-1.

“We have a variety of different initiatives taking place with the focus on kindergarten all the way to Grade 12 and with the curriculum moving towards a numeracy and literacy focus in all subject areas, I think it really positions our students well for when the new curriculum comes out,” Boymook said. “When you’re looking at preparing students to be successful far beyond their years at Elk Island Public Schools they need to have a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy to be successful and we’re really pleased to see that we’re able to accomplish the results we are.”

Now that the results are out, the data will be broken down and reviewed by the board of trustees, principals, and schools.

“What will happen over the coming weeks now is we will start drilling deeper into the results and take a look at what aspects in the curriculum that students are finding great success in and acknowledging what is contributing to that and embracing that but we will also look at areas where we can grow,” the EIPS board chair noted. “That helps inform the board in identifying how to allocate the resources and accept those priorities.”

The MacKinnon Report, which was released by a panel headed up by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, suggested some portions of school funding should be linked to school boards achieving strategic outcomes and performance. Despite EIPS have excellent performance numbers on PATS and diploma exams last year, Boymook hopes the UCP government does not follow this recommendation.

“We certainly would not want to see funding being connected to achievement results and schools that have results that may be lower are often service a more vulnerable community and certainly this would be a disservice to the students in our system and other systems as well,” Boymook said. “It is concerning that they want to tie any kind of funding to rewarding those with higher results with more money and those that need more support get less. We’re committed to ensuring all our students experience success and that looks different for each student. “

Boymook added she is proud of what students, teachers, staff and parents in the community accomplished because the results are an indication the right supports are being given to students in the district to achieve the best possible educational outcome; “It is really a team effort and everybody worked together to help them achieve at this level.”