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Three Ottawa high schools claim top spots in Fraser Institute rankings

An Ottawa technical school achieved the number-one spot last year on a list that ranks Ontario schools by academic performance.

The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on Ontario’s secondary schools ranks 749 of the province’s schools based on standardized-testing numbers.

This year the Centre professionnel et technique Minto, a French-language Catholic school,  took first place on the list.

“I was not surprised but very pleased to see that we were ranked first in the whole province,” said Dany Dumont, the school’s principal. “It seems to prove that we’re doing the right thing.”

The school mostly focuses on mechanical, construction and electrical streams, but also offers programs in fashion, aesthetics and culinary arts.

“We prepare our students for testing in all of their classes. Everybody’s working together to achieve the same goals, whether it’s math or French,” Dumont said. “Everything is hands-on and we’re letting the teachers try new things.”

It’s the first year the school has been included in the list, and it is considerably smaller than many other area schools.

Dumont said the small population means teachers can monitor at-risk students and provide support. In addition the school uses new technology and offers more choices in areas such as reading material to encourage learning.

“Minto earned that 10 out of 10 [grade] on the basis of playing by the rules in terms of our report, and that’s terrific,” said Peter Cowley, a spokesperson for the Fraser Institute.

In the past, teachers and parents have criticized the ranking system, arguing that the purely numbers-based analysis doesn’t reflect the schools' quality , but Cowley said it remains a valuable tool.

“It is one measure that parents can use to determine, in general, how is the school doing academically compared to others,” he said.

Other Ottawa-area schools that placed high on the list included West Carleton Public School in Dunrobin, which placed at number 17, and Colonel By Secondary School, which placed third.

Top three spots:

  • Ottawa’s Centre professionnel et technique Minto was ranked first out of 749 high schools in the province. The school mostly focuses on mechanical, construction and electrical streams, but also offers programs in fashion, aesthetics and culinary arts. 10/10

  • Havergal College, a private all-girls prep school in Toronto, took second place. Tuition and residence fees for a single year were $53,180 in 2015, according to the school’s website. 9.4/10

  • Colonel By in Gloucester came third in the rankings, with particularly high success in academic math and the grade 10 standardized literacy test. 9.3/10
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