News / Ottawa

Vanier private school cracks top 25 in elementary school rankings

St. George Catholic School, Ahlul-Bayt Islamic School and Our Lady of Victory all received special mentions for high academic performance.

Metro file photo of elementary school students.

Metro file

Metro file photo of elementary school students.

A Vanier private school cracked the top 25 elementary schools in the province for academic performance in recently released rankings by the Fraser Institute.

Ahlul-Bayt Islamic School in Vanier claimed the top spot in Ottawa, ranked 25 out of 2,900 schools ranked across the province. The not-for-profit private school has especially high rankings in math, and has no special needs students.

The Calgary-based group released annual rankings on Sunday for both elementary and secondary schools in several provinces. The scores are calculated by looking at standardized testing scores in math, reading and writing.

“The idea behind the report card, it's design, is that it makes it easy to compare schools one to another,” said Peter Cowley, director of the study. "Without comparison it's very hard to set improvement targets."

Unlike the high school rankings list, this year's elementary school ratings don’t include information on five-year trends because of labour disruptions.

St. George Catholic School in Westboro was also ranked high. The school was ranked 83 out of 2,900 across the province and has around 22 per cent of students with special needs.

While it didn’t rank as highly overall, the Fraser Institute gave a special mention to the Our Lady of Victory school in the Bayshore area. The school performed well above the province’s math average despite having a majority of students with special needs.

The Fraser Institute's ranking system is often criticized by parents and school boards, who say the numbers-only academic analysis doesn’t allow for a full picture of the school.

Cowley agrees that the rankings don’t paint an entire picture – but he argued they are based off the available hard numbers that exist, making them useful for parents.

“Of course it doesn't tell the whole story, but it tells an important part," he said. “We don't want to demean the less successful schools, but simply consider the possibility that there might be an opportunity for some transfer of knowledge.”

Top three spots:

Avondale Alternative in Toronto tied with a number of schools for top marks. The English public school school received 10 out of 10 for academic performance.

Hollywood Public School in Toronto’s North York neighbourhood tied with a number of schools for top marks. The public school received 10 out of 10 for academic performance.

IQRA Islamic in Mississauga tied with a number of schools for top marks. The private faith-based school received 10 out of 10 for academic performance.

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