By Samantha Johnson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 8, 2023.
The Medicine Hat Public School Division’s annual education results report was approved by the board of trustees at their latest meeting following an overview by director of student programming Cody Edwards.
The report begins with the Spring 2023 Education Plan with goals for optimal learning, thinking and acting inclusively, wellness, and truth and reconciliation.
MHPSD examines the success criteria along with strategies associated with the four goals in addition to collecting data from local assurance surveys and out-of-school surveying. The report also takes into account Alberta Education assurance summaries and the data from diploma exams and provincial achievement tests.
“This all comes together in the development of the annual education results report,” Edwards said. “Other sources of important information that has become part of this document is the teacher voice committee as well as the conversations we have with our students, families and how we engage our school councils and division council.
“It allows us to reflect on the evidence, analyze it and provide some of the analysis and comments in this report.”
For optimal learning, all schools within MHPSD are working in best practice, research-based numeracy and literacy instruction with some schools going deeper in terms of goals, assessment, reporting and cross-curricular connections.
The five-year high school completion rate has improved significantly within the division, from 83.5% in 2022 to 89.7% this year.
“When we look at the five-year high school completion rate, it’s important to note it allows students different pathways to graduation, with some students taking a different pace than others,” Edwards stated.
The Rutherford Scholarship eligibility rate has increased for Grades 10, 11 and 12, from 63.6% in 2022 to 71.3% in 2023.
For the system goal of thinking and acting inclusively, a Social and Emotional Learning committee was established thanks to the Mental Health Grant the division received. Division-wide planning and conversations around instruction along with developing a common language in all schools, are being implemented to increase student self-awareness and interpersonal relationships skills.
“One of the areas that continues to develop is the continuum supports, which supports goal No. 2 of thinking and acting inclusively because of the responsive and timely interventions that we can provide students, whether it be academically or in the social/emotional realm,” said Edwards.
For both wellness and truth and reconciliation there have been training sessions for both staff and students. Additionally, there are supports within each school, such as family school liaison workers, to support wellness and the First Nations, Metis and Inuit team for truth and reconciliation.