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Superintendent's Notebook - November 2015

Always striving for improvement

Every year, Edmonton Public Schools publishes our Annual Education Results Review (AERR), which lets the public know how we're doing at making a reality of our vision to transform the learners of today into the leaders of tomorrow. Are we succeeding? Can we do better? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

This year's AERR shows that we've continued to build on the success we've seen over the past few years. We're meeting the goals and priorities we've set in our strategic plan to ensure success for all 92,000 of our students. That's a lot of kids, and they reflect the diversity of cultures, backgrounds and abilities that exist in Edmonton.

Meeting the needs of a diverse student population

We've developed a variety of ways to meet their varied needs. We've created the District Equity Fund, which ensures equitable opportunities are available to all students. The fund helps groups of schools across our district identify where the greatest needs are and get resources to use toward supports that will make a difference for students.

Our Math Intervention/Programming Instrument (MIPI) for Grades 2 to 9 helped us identify where students are having challenges early in the year, so we can support them and get them back on track.

And we've taken big strides forward with our Career Pathways initiative, which helps students explore their options for life after school. Whether students go on to post-secondary, the world of work or community living, we want students to leave school with clear ideas of what their next steps might be. They should see that completing high school isn't just the end of a journey, it's the start of a new one.

Continous improvement

Our Accountability Pillar results have improved. We've achieved the good or excellent level in all measure categories. In fact, we're higher than the provincial average for 32 of Alberta Education's 44 measures. We're very proud of these results.

Our five-year high school completion rate continues to improve—it's up by 3.2 per cent over the last five years. Of particular note is the fact that more First Nations, Métis and Inuit students are completing high school. Other trends show that our overall student drop out rate has gone down. This is great news. We want to ensure every student completes high school and we'll continue to work toward achieving this goal.

Students also continue to do well on diploma exams, performing at or above the provincial average in science and math. These results are good, but we still have plenty of work ahead of us, especially as we work together to dig deeper into our results and make decisions in our schools about how to go even further to support student success.

Partners in public education

But, of course, we don't do our work alone. Edmonton Public Schools works in partnership with important stakeholders like parents and guardians, community organizations, businesses, service providers, not-for-profit organizations, Alberta Education, and post-secondary institutions.

Our district is committed to working with partners to help every student succeed, and we are passionate, dedicated and prepared to transform the learners of today into the leaders of tomorrow.