Lakeview School Ranked #1

Post date: May 16, 2017 1:56:12 AM

Jennie Elliott School Ranked #1 in Public Board

By Geoffrey Vanderburg

You won’t hear it from the Calgary Board of Education. You won’t hear it from the principal. And you won’t hear it from the school council. So I guess it’s up to Lakeview Community Association to shout about the incredible academic achievement of our local elementary school.

The Fraser Institute’s Alberta Report Card on Elementary Schools 2017 has ranked Jennie Elliott as first overall within the Calgary Board of Education, fourth in the City of Calgary -- after Master’s Academy, Webber Academy and Clear Water Academy -- and seventh out of 790 schools in the province of Alberta. Notably, the school’s Grade 6 average test mark for science was 87.2 percent.

The Calgary Board of Education does not comment on the Fraser Institute’s annual survey and Jennie Elliott principal Chris Aylesworth and the school council respect that policy.

Fortunately, that didn’t stop principal Aylesworth from sharing his admiration for the school’s students, parents and staff.

“A high performing school is all about the people,” said Aylesworth. “Jennie Elliott is a school that is brimming with students who come from good homes and are ready to learn.”

Aylesworth said the results of achievement tests and student surveys are analyzed to identify and address areas for growth.

“Our teachers and educational assistants stay current with what’s happening in education and strive for continuous improvement,” he said.

Rather than focusing on anti-bullying campaigns, Aylesworth said the school focuses on student leadership and what it means to be good, contributing citizens.

“Another key ingredient is simply hard work and camaraderie amongst the staff,” he said. “All for one and one for all is how we roll. Our school culture is one of inclusion, caring and striving for excellence. Visitors often comment about the positive vibe they feel when they visit. When you put it all together you get a school that is greater than the sum of its parts. That synergy is what makes the difference.”

Kathryn Hegan and Sarah Smith, co-chairs of the Jennie Elliott school council, said the school is fortunate to have parents who help shape children into caring, committed leaders. “With or without the Fraser Institute rankings, Jennie Elliott is a wonderful school,” Hegan said. “While there are many things that go in to the making of a great school, one thing that we can attest to is the dedication of the parent community at Jennie Elliott.”

Hegan said Jennie Elliott’s parents devote time to organizing picnics and dances, fundraising in order to purchase technology, music, art and gym equipment and to pay for in-school residencies, helping out in classroom reading groups, volunteering for field trips, updating school billboards, coordinating Fun Lunches and casino fundraisers and organizing Home Reading books.

“This kind of dedicated parent participation significantly improves and enhances the quality of our children’s experience at school every day and further serves to role model care and commitment to others and our community,” said Hegan.

Jennie Elliott isn’t the only remarkable school in Lakeview. Both Bishop Pinkham School and Connect Charter School draw students from all around thanks to their unique programs. Bishop Pinkham offers French and Spanish immersion while Connect Charter’s program of learning through inquiry results in a long waiting list. Although both schools have some elementary grades, neither Bishop Pinkham nor Connect Charter were included in the Fraser Institute’s ranking of elementary schools.