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LCSD celebrates positives in AERR

Lakeland Catholic School District (LCSD) went over their Annual Education Results Report (AERR), and how they can improve in certain areas going forward.
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BONNYVILLE - Lakeland Catholic School District (LCSD) is pleased with their Annual Education Results Report (AERR), and are continuing to work on the areas that need improvement.

Assistant superintendent Pamela Guilbault presented the 2018/19 report, along with the 2019-2022 division education plan, during the board of trustees meeting on Monday, Dec. 16.

For LCSD’s Accountability Pillar results, which gives school boards a way of measuring their successes and areas that need to be improved on from the province, they maintained a high number for safe and caring schools at 89.7 per cent.

Student learning opportunities, program of studies, education quality, and high school completion rate all remained on par with last year’s results and were considered excellent by the province.

The drop out rate for LCSD was below the province’s 2.6 per cent average at 0.1 per cent, which was an improvement over last year’s 1.3 per cent.

Board chair Diane Bauer believes teachers and support staff had a positive impact on that advancement.

"I think one reason is because kids like to go to school. They feel welcome and they have good relationships with their peers and with the staff," she expressed.

The 86.6 per cent high school completion rate for LCSD students was above the province's 79.1 per cent.

The number of students who received acceptable scores on the Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) was 68.8 per cent, while the amount of students at the excellent level was 10.8 per cent.

The province requires school divisions to have plans in place to improve in areas where they saw decreases, such as the PATs for LCSD.

“One of the things that's required from every jurisdiction throughout the province is if you have something that’s showing either a (decline) or (declined significantly), you must have targets for those particular areas as well as strategies,” Guilbault detailed.

Bauer said, "The district sets goals and timelines to improve in areas that need support... When you target specific areas, it always makes a difference because you're tracking your results and putting extra emphasis and support where it's needed."

The amount of students reaching acceptable levels for the Provincial Diploma Exam (PDE) was just below the provincial average at 81.9 per cent. LCSD's excellent results were just below the province's results of 24 per cent at 17 per cent.

With 64.5 per cent of students writing in the PDEs, LCSD scored higher than the provincial number of 56.3 per cent.

There were 73.9 per cent of students eligible for the Rutherford Scholarship, which was close to last year's 74.4 per cent. The provincial honour is given out to recognize academic achievement and encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education.

The number of students transitioning to post-secondary studies saw a significant increase from 62.3 per cent to 73 per cent.

Around 84.9 per cent of parents and teachers believed LCSD students portrayed characteristics of a good citizen, such as being respectful and helping one another.

When asked if the division adequately prepares pupils for work, 81.5 agreed what they learn will assist them in being successful in the field they choose.

The percentage of teachers and parents satisfied with parental involvement was 82.4 per cent, which was on par with last year's results. When it came to the school buildings and how students, teachers, and parents felt, 78.8 per cent of them agreed they've either improved or remained consistent.

The report also broke down the outcomes specifically for First Nation, Métis, and Indigenous (FNMI) students. The PAT results had 53.1 per cent of students scoring acceptable, while 3.6 per cent reached the level of excellent. On the PDE side, around 80.3 per cent of students reached acceptable and 8.2 per cent were excellent.

The high school completion rate for FNMI students was better than the provincial average of 56.6 per cent at 62.6 per cent. LCSD significantly improved the number of students not completing their studies from last year's 5.4 per cent.

The emphasis the district puts on assisting new students with transitioning into their Cold Lake locations, such as Assumption Jr./Sr. High School, is one of the reasons Bauer believes they've seen success in this category.

"We make sure that they're put into classrooms with students that they already know from their other school, and even the principal touches base with them to make sure that they have a good transition... so they feel part of the school. Those are ongoing conversations at both the school and district level to make sure that all kids feel welcome."

The number of FNMI students eligible for the Rutherford Scholarship was 39.1 per cent.

Those transitioning to post-secondary studies under the FNMI section was 50.4 per cent, which was above the 34.2 per cent provincial average.

Along with their AERR, the division's education plan outlined what areas they wanted to focus on over the next three years and accomplishments of students in the past.

Some of their goals include providing lifelong learning and employment readiness to ensure students are ready for a future that combines strong foundational skills with innovation and creative thinking, and ensuring their schools are inclusive for all students.

LCSD plans to develop citizenship programs that relate to their Christian values, increase the achievements for their indigenous students, and support the truth and reconciliation commission.

Robynne Henry

About the Author: Robynne Henry

Reporter for the Bonnyville Nouvelle
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