By Tim Lekas,
Principal, Rimbey Junior/Senior High School
Last month, Alberta Education released its biannual Accountability Pillar Report which is a document describing how each school has performed on a variety of measures during the previous school year. Results include survey data from students,parents and staff on topics relating to education quality, citizenship, school improvement and work preparation, along with data on drop-out rates, and Grade 9 Provincial Achievement Test and Grade 12 diploma exam results.
One key item that the school pays particular attention to is the graduation rate. Provincially, approximately 75 per cent of students graduate after three years of high school. Staff at Rimbey Junior Senior High School have spent considerable time working to improve the rates since 2007 when our rate (68 per cent) dropped below the provincial average of 72 per cent. At that time, a number of new strategies were added to a few already in place, in an attempt to improve this measure and the school saw a steady improvement to its highest value of 95 per cent in 2011. For the 2014/15 school year, the graduation rate came in at a very respectable 90 per cent. Strategies currently in place at the school include:
providing diverse programming, which allows students to take a variety of courses of high interest including marine biology,Lego robotics, 3-D printing, sports training
embedded tutorials during the school day so staff can provide timely support to struggling students in small group settings
intervention meetings once per month where staff get together to develop strategies to assist students who are experiencing difficulty
minimum credit requirements in grades 10, 11 and 12, which translates into more students attaining the minimum 100credits required to achieve a diploma
a variety of extracurricular programs which helps students feel engaged and connected to their school
Fall graduation, which provides students with an extra opportunity to meet the diploma criteria over the summer of theirGrade 12 year, after they have received their final grades at the end of June.
One of the new strategies for the 2015/16 school year will see the introduction of a literacy support called READ 180, which is producing impressive results with students all over Canada who struggle with reading comprehension, a critical life skill. This program will hopefully be up and running by February 1st, 2016.
Data from this report plays a very important role in the creation of the annual School Growth Plan, guiding the goal setting for the upcoming year. This plan, formally called the ACE plan, is available for viewing on the schools’ homepage,rhs.wolfcreek.ab.ca, and can be found under the QuickLinks tab.