Nine out of ten elementary schools in B.C. showing improvement were public, according to annual ranking

Ninety per cent of all elementary schools in the province showed significant improvement are public.
Ninety per cent of all elementary schools in the province showed significant improvement are public.

Independent elementary schools in British Columbia continue to perform well above average, but this year more than 90 per cent of all elementary schools in the province that showed significant improvement are public, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual ranking of B.C. elementary schools released today.

The average overall rating for B.C.’s independent elementary schools was eight out of 10, compared to 5.6 out of 10 for public schools in the Report Card on British Columbia’s Elementary Schools 2017.

“Independent schools in the province continue to outperform their public school counterparts,” concluded Peter Cowley, director of School Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute.

But of the 61 schools that showed statistically significant improvement since 2012, 57 were public.

“It is encouraging to see public schools across the province showing signs of improvement. Improving schools can show struggling schools how to help their students achieve better results,” said Cowley.

This year’s report ranked 956 public and independent elementary schools based on 10 academic indicators derived from the provincewide Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results.

Notably, four of Mission school district’s 11 ranked public schools enjoyed statistically significant improvement since 2011/12.

In fact, the 2nd fastest improving school in the province was Mission’s Silverdale. Its overall rating moved upward every year since 2012, from 3.0 to 6.4 this year.

At Mary Jane Shannon Elementary in Surrey, despite ESL students making up 45.4 per cent of the students, its overall rating improved from 4.4 to 5.6 over the past four years.

And improvement is not confined to the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Suwilaawks Community School in Terrace improved from 1.2 to 4.1 during the same period.

“All too often we hear excuses that schools can’t improve their students’ performance because of the communities they serve, but there are success stories across B.C. where teachers with students that face challenges every day nonetheless find ways to help their students improve,” Cowley said.

For the complete results on all ranked schools, and to easily compare the performance of different schools, visit

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