Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
12:35 PM EDT
2014-02-02 at 10:35

Leading the pack

Corpus Christi School
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Corpus Christi School
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Corpus Christi Elementary School gets top nod locally in the Fraser Institute’s latest rankings of Ontario’s elementary schools.

The school’s rating jumped 0.6 points to 7.7 in figures released Sunday by the Canadian think-tank and helped them overtake Holy Family School and St. Paul School, the No. 1 and 2 facilities in the last elementary school rankings.

The Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board holds down the top three rankings and nine of the top 10 in the city, with Holy Family checking in second with a 7.6 score, down 0.5 from 2013.

The newly renovated St. Bernard was tied for second with a 7.6 score, good for 495th out of 3,030 schools on the list.

Nor’wester View is the highest listed Lakehead Public Schools elementary school, scoring 7.4, 613th best in the province.
St. Francis and St. Paul schools round out the top five.

At the other end of the scale, McKellar Park School is the lowest rated school in Thunder Bay, with a 2.4 score, 2,924th in Ontario, according to the Fraser Institute. The bottom five includes C.D. Howe (2,429), Ogden Community (2,609), Sherbrooke (2.695) and Our Lady of Charity (1,792).

The 2014 report card ranks 3,030 elementary schools across the province based on nine academic indicators.

The methodology focuses on results from province-wide testing in reading, writing and math administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office.

"By pinpointing the subject areas where individual schools improve or decline, and by demonstrating how a school's academic performance compares to other Ontario schools, our report helps educators help kids be more successful in the classroom," said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies.

The report card also includes information about each school’s make-up, including parental income, percentage of English as a second language students and the percentage of special needs students.

Cowley said schools can succeed despite low average incomes and other perceived barriers.

"Whatever a school's student make-up, whether there are lots of ESL or special needs kids, or the students come from families of modest means, schools can always improve student academic performance and perform very well," Cowley said.

The local list:

  • Corpus Christi (7.7)
  • Holy Family (7.6)
  • St. Bernard (7.6)
  • Nor'wester View (7.4)
  • St. Francis (7.3)
  • St. Paul (7.2)
  • Holy Cross (7.2)
  • St. Margaret (7.1)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (7.0)
  • St. Pius X (7.0)
  • Edgewater Park (6.9)
  • Five Mile (6.9)
  • St. Ann (6.9)
  • Woodcrest (6.7)
  • Vance Chapman (6.6)
  • Ecole Gron Morgan (6.4)
  • Agnew H. Johnston (6.3)
  • Westmount (6.3)
  • St. Vincent (6.1)
  • Gorham and Ware (5.8)
  • St. Martin (5.6)
  • Franco-Superieur (5.6)
  • Valley Central (5.3)
  • Algonquin Avenue (5.3)
  • St. Jude (5.1)
  • St. James (4.8)
  • Claude E. Garton (4.7)
  • St. Elizabeth (4.6)
  • CD Howe (4.6)
  • Odgen Community (4.1)
  • Sherbrooke (3.8)
  • Our Lady of Charity (2.9)
  • McKellar Park Central (2.4)

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Hopper says:
There are hundreds of public schools in the province rating better than our best Catholic school. Hundreds better than *ALL* our schools....

That should probably be the discussion, if it weren't for the trolls who keep posting.
2/3/2014 3:09:06 PM
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alexa says:
to "Theangryone says", yeah I was just trying to make a point to all the people who are saying that something the catholic system is doing is resulting in some of these high scores. So many times I hear parents choosing a catholic school in their district simply because they don't like the public school in the area. Has nothing to do with religion, better teachers, better anything........

2/3/2014 1:45:11 PM
watchful says:
@SDuncan, you are truly warped. Education is not based on religion. If that were the case then anyone that did not come from a Catholic school would be a failure. That is crap as there are many successful people who are non catholics. You need to get a life
2/3/2014 11:45:07 AM
PGS says:
Can anyone explain to me why in 2014 in Canada we have 2 completely seperate school systems, with the only difference being a religious preference? Personally i find this to be a very outdated concept. If people want their children to be exposed to religion they should take them to church. If they feel that religion and school should go together they should send their children to private schools. Government should not still be pushing religion on people.
2/3/2014 11:30:45 AM
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S Duncan says:
Id say because people obviously want it and are willing to pay for it.

If nobody wanted their children to attend a Catholic School, then they wouldnt be full of students. If the public system was overflowing and the Catholic was empty you'd have a good point.

Taxpayers have the option of directing some of their tax dollars to either system. Assuming you are a taxpayer and a voter you would most likely already be aware of that.

Just because you find it outdated is no reason for it to go away. You make your choice and paid for it. The Catholic School supporting taxpayers have made theirs as well.

Government is not pushing religion on anybody. The people that want it are paying for it.

Do you also feel the same about French language schools? or do you just have a beef with Cathoics?
2/3/2014 1:02:33 PM
Baor says:
You have no choice which system your taxes go to. The Harris CONSERVATIVES eliminated that choice in '96 partly because of LOWER funding to the Catholics. All funding for both systems is by the province. That little box you check is for trustee voting only.
I never ever want to fund any religious based school system of any kind...yet,I have too. My hard earned taxes go towards funding a religion that believes homosexuality is a sin, that will not allow birth control (in some of the poorest nations on earth), that pontificates it's righteousness, yet has caused more harm over the centuries than any good it has created. There is nothing in morality any religion of any kind can teach a human being that he isn't already born with (in fact, Catholics believe you are born a sinner!) but, evil horrible things done in the name of religion happen time and time again.
Yet, I still have to pay for a religious based school system for one religion only (catholic)...I cannot opt out.
2/4/2014 8:53:06 AM
Dave78 says:
Regardless of where you live or which school your children attend, spending time reading to your children and being active in their school work is absolutely free and can play a huge role in their academic performance. There are simple and inexpensive things parents can do to help their children yet too many of us don't bother. It blows my mind that some Kindegarten students report for their first day of school and still don't know all the letters of the alphabet. We as parents have to take some responsibility.

I get that children from lower income families will have added barriers when it comes to their education. But make now mistake, too many people use this as a crutch and they aren't taking the most basic steps at home to help their children.

Read to your children. Review their homework. Be aware of their progress at school. It's all free.
2/3/2014 11:30:41 AM
Cletus Van Damme says:
Of course they do better!

Being able to play the "burn in the merciless flames of hell" card with a kid is much more effective than the tired old "you need to work hard in school" refrain.
2/3/2014 10:58:14 AM
mystified says:
@S Duncan
You sure have a pretty colourful brush for that picture you are trying to paint of the Catholic religion and school system.
If anything it's the teachers that make a difference. All this mythical crap about God in the class room is garbage.

You do remember the alter boy fiasco on the east coast a few years back.
2/3/2014 9:17:04 AM
Grammy says:
I agree with skoday having two publicly funded education systems is a waste of good money just think of the cost of the two top positions we are going to be staffing this year. We could put that 400+K to good use for the students. And come on people these stats are based on a one day test administered and keep in mind some students don't write it, in some schools if it is deemed they are not prepared. Skewed stats always get people so excited.
2/3/2014 8:46:35 AM
Yournamehere says:
You can see average parental income here....


For those interested just click the school you are curious about.
2/3/2014 6:25:34 AM
alexa says:
I still don't see anyone that thinks the catholic system is the reason the top score at Corpus Christie explain how the catholic system is failing at Our Lady of Charity, St Elizabeth, St James and St Judes........what is the catholic system doing so different at these others schools...........Maybe there are other factors in play????
2/2/2014 9:30:27 PM
Theangryone says:
Alexa. Look at a map and see where these schools are located. Location does gave some play in scores IMHO. But the big player in scores are the students' desire and the assistance that the family provides. As well, IMHO, the educational background of the parents plays a huge part in how well a child does at school. A child imitates what they see/hear in daily life. That is a big factor for scores. IMHO.
2/2/2014 10:52:02 PM
skoday says:
Having 2 publicly funded education boards is ridiculous. Such a waste of administration costs that should be spent on students.
2/2/2014 7:51:07 PM
musicferret says:
Put that list next to one with the average family income of the students at these schools and you will notice they are pretty close to being the same.

Socioeconomic is the #1 factor in determining average student grade success. Yes, there are individual outliers (rich family with a low achieving child, poor family with a high achieving child), but the average doesn't lie.

2/2/2014 7:16:11 PM
PAgirl says:
Some of you are really living in a fantasy world. Teaching religion in schools must make kids smarter because of these stats? OK, keep telling yourself that. Does that also mean that you believe religious adults are more intelligent than others? Haha.
2/2/2014 7:14:42 PM
S Duncan says:
Its not that they teach religion, its what religion teaches the students that makes them perform better.

It focuses on the family unit and strong family values which reinforces a childs self esteem and provides peer support rather than peer pressure. It provides teachings of a supportive God who will help you to help yourself. It gives you the feelings and beliefs that God's got your back.

Even if you believe that's fantasy world, the results speak for themselves. Time and time again.

Believe what you want, but if you believe in reality instead of religion, then you have to recognize that reality shows Catholic schools do better.

Either way the Catholic School System is supreme.
2/2/2014 8:30:38 PM
Knauffer says:
Interesting point of view, coming from someone who can't decide which identity he is using online, displaying dishonesty and lack of integrity every day he isn't banned. Very un-Christian behaviour from a supposedly grown man, and disturbing.
2/2/2014 9:49:28 PM
S Duncan says:

another day, another person who cannot debate the issue. In turn, they do the only thing their feeble brain can do, attack the person.

2/3/2014 8:20:02 AM
S Duncan says:
Your comment is a perfect example of why the public school system loses all the time.

Instead of focusing on the problem/issue/topic at hand, they in turn lash out and point fingers. Catholics just work on the problem.

You should try focusing on your own problems sometimes, you wont find yourself looking stupid so often.

Stick to the topic and you might learn something someday.
2/3/2014 8:40:26 AM
Rubenicky says:
Ridiculous. If that is true why was St. Peter's the bottom rated school for 14 years running? Why the low scores in other Catholic schools not in rich areas?
If your logic is correct it stands to reason all Catholic schools would have awesome scores. Not true, nowhere close.
Get your identities straight for a clearer argument, or quit trolling. You make no sense.
2/2/2014 10:47:19 PM
PAgirl says:
Sounding like a true brain washed, arrogant church goer, S Duncan.

I loved my public school education, free of prayer time and "family studies" which would have meant nothing to my learning math, science and English, thank you very much. And no sitting around pretending to be victims was involved.
2/2/2014 11:03:27 PM
Ringettemom says:
You're right, PAgirl, except this guy is just a troll who claims to be a Muslim in some posts, a Catholic (albeit unChristian one lol) in others, an insurance buying some posts, a business owner I others etc etc, he lies all the time and takes peoples' names and just trolls to bug people. Can't be honest and gets banned for racist comments, people just get drawn into his nasty insulting debates because he is addicted to this website.
I myself did attend Catholic school, not choice, and did choose to send my own kids to public school because they wouldn't have to be exposed so early to the hypocrisy that exists within the Catholic system.
2/3/2014 9:55:48 AM
S Duncan says:
Here we go again. You have no excuse for the excellent results the Catholic School System has repeatedly acheived so you turn your anger towards me.

You could focus on the obviously apparent shortcomings of the public school system, identify its faults and work towards improving the results, but instead you'll just get mad at someone else.

You will lash out and join hands with others who maintain the same level of misery within yourselves just so you may never face the facts that the Catholic System outperforms the public system that I and many others have pointed out to you.

Save your anger and when they compile a story about me then comment on it, til then stop making this all about me every chance you get.

Go volunteer at a public school and help those students get up to speed if youre so concerned. Show up those Catholics you despise so much.

but that would take something you dont have...

Something the Catholc religion would give you.
2/3/2014 12:21:17 PM
S Duncan says:
Lower income people will invent all sorts of reasons for their lower grades and lower incomes.

Stop blaming other people for your level of success and start dealing with it.

That's what the Catholic School system does. They don't spend their time in school pretending to be victims of one thing or another, they spend their time learning.

The Catholic System CONTINUES to be the best regardless of the Catholic-phobes who desperately wish that uncomfortable reality would go away.
2/2/2014 5:28:55 PM
s to the duncan says:
lol S Duncan!

Regardless of which schooling is "best", they are all striving for the same goal overall for the students to be productive, responsible adults one day.
Some students get more out of the catholic system & other kids get more out of public school.
The fact that the catholic system gives credits for religion classes only makes a little difference, as many of the public system students attend church every Sunday anyways.
ps s duncan: define lower income/higher income???

Some look at "family" as wealth & pass off material things all together. Everyone sees things differently & enjoys life even on a "set income".
You don't need money to be happy if you have family!
2/3/2014 11:41:12 AM
Ed itw says:
It would be interesting to see which school board wins out when it comes to teen pregnancy per capita.
2/2/2014 5:18:29 PM
mystified says:
Anyone can choose what ever school they wish their child to attend. It's not about how much money you have. Most people choose a school in their neighbourhood.
2/2/2014 4:25:35 PM
Theangryone says:
@ TSB..... While I do agree with you on the fact that income does play a part in school scores (so does student wants and parental assistance)I need to educate you on one fact. Each school has an area to drawn upon. Corpus' zone is as follows: Red River Road from the waterfront upto Algonquin. Algonquin/Balmoral down to Harbour Expressway down to Main Street. That is a huge zone to draw upon. However, socioeconomics show that there are families not like Mariday Park / Hillcrest in this area. It is the dedication of the entire school staff and community that put this school at yen top.
2/2/2014 2:17:14 PM
alexa says:
"whatelseisnew", your comments are ridiculous, and narrow minded...and you are not reading the entire list of stats. The scores have little to do with the Catholic brd & having religion in the school, if that were so, then you explain why Our Lady of Charity is at bottom every year. Try and explain that. Does the catholic board not teach the same curriculum and religion at each school, this reflects poorly on the catholic brd. they should be using same principals in all their schools. The biggest factors in these scores are things you will never see in a report. And then parents choose a school for their kids after they read these scores and base there decision between catholic and public based on these scores, so things just get more and more skewed, and because often the kids that have the least home support and the least discussions about their education end up in the public system. you are not very smart, you shouldn't boast you came thru the catholic system.....
2/2/2014 1:34:14 PM
whatelseisnew says:
I applaud you trying to knock me down " you are not very smart, you shouldn't boast you came thru the catholic system", but I must retort.
I had a VERY strong single mother with a catholic upbringing coupled with great school and great teachers. Perhaps my crappy values and teachings is why I'm SO unsuccessful today with my horrible attitude and lack of education is the reason why I'm blaming the world for everything! Maybe some parents need to look at themselves and realize that the teacher cannot teach the things that need to be taught at home? Then maybe your kid will not be the brat he is.
2/2/2014 7:25:36 PM
whatelseisnew says:
The Catholic school board curriculum has ALWAYS surpassed the public board and the numbers don't lie. Having religion in school clearly has something to do with it because all the teachers have the same education so there is no argument there, and buildings cannot make a smarter pupil. It is what it is folks. Congratulations Catholic School Board and keep up the great job you all have been doing!!
From a former catholic student.
2/2/2014 12:36:40 PM
tsb says:
Catholic students come from more well-off families with greater parental involvement in the education process. That isn't the only reason but it's a significant factor into why some schools do better than others. McKellar and Ogden are always at the bottom of the list because they serve the poorest part of the city (Simpson, East End, downtown FW). And if religion is so important, why are Our Lady of Charity (County Park), St. Elizabeth (Selkirk/Downtown Fort William), St. James (Downtown PA) and St. Jude (East End/Simpson Ogden) doing so poorly compared to the average for public schools? Are they teaching the religion wrong?

If you organized the schools in order of the average family income for students in their catchment area you would get a very similar list. Corpus Christi serves students from the wealthy Mariday Park/Hillcrest area.
2/2/2014 1:08:20 PM
whatelseisnew says:
"Catholic students come from more well-off families with greater parental involvement in the education process". Are you kidding me right now? I guess I must have somehow forgot how well off my single mother was working a full-time and part-time job when she raised my sister an I! I do however agree with lower income parents these days not being involved enough in their children's education seeing the school as a daycare while most of the parents wasting their days doing who knows what. One thing I do know from my own life is that when I was at school I was on best behaviour and respecting my teachers. I've had the school call my mother on occasion and I remember the repercussions I received after she hung up the phone. Long story short is most parents that are low-income or on welfare do not raise their kids to have respect and could careless about their behaviour while in school and when they do get a phone call home they are jumping down the teachers throat.
2/2/2014 3:58:18 PM
whatelseisnew says:

Money does not BUY grades in school NOR does it BUY values, discipline, or respect. Teachers are not to blame on poor families doing poorly. family values come from upbringing and there isn't enough money in the world to make a child well behaved...that's the parents job, no matter how rich or poor. If a child is doing terrible in school and yet other kids in the class are doing well its time to look in the mirror and realize you're not doing your child any good by being a friend instead of a parent!
2/2/2014 6:05:59 PM
limbo says:
Socio-economic factors do play a significant role in a child's success, I agree. It would be helpful to compare schools that are in the same area, i.e. St. Paul and Claude Garton, Gron Morgan and Corpus Christi, Holy Family and Norwesterview, Vance Chapman and St. Margaret, Woodcrest and Holy Cross - rather than a system wide comparison.

FYI - St. James is not a Catholic school; it is part of the Lakehead Pubic School system.
2/2/2014 4:48:52 PM
unionbay880 says:
The catholic school system is the successor of the residential school system.
2/2/2014 1:31:13 PM
j_northey says:
I'd like to see how students do from report to report as a measuring tool rather than this 'all students should have the same mark' thing. If a D student improves to a C that is more impressive than a system where an A student drops to a B yet the one with the declining student will be rewarded while the one helping the worse off kid will be punished under this marking system.

Also, as others have mentioned, the wealth and past schooling of the parents has a drastic effect on the results of the children. The neighbourhood also can drastically shift marks - if drugs and crime are common in the area around a school then marks will go down, if most students are bussed in from afar marks will go down (cannot participate in afterschool activities or help sessions).

I'd prefer a statistically sound test that takes into account these factors. An annual end of year test for all students, measuring how they improve/decline vs a variety of factors would be far more useful.
2/3/2014 8:57:08 AM
Gunner says:
The Catholic boards curriculum has never surpassed the public school systems...mainly because the curriculum is standardized. Teachers make the difference. Resources also play a huge part, as the Catholic system has more money to put into technology and so on. After just finishing up at Bishop E.Q. Jennings, having seen the amount of technology they have compared to other schools is phenomenal. bridging the gap between learning styles and curriculum guidelines is much easier when you have extra tools at your disposal.
2/5/2014 3:37:34 PM
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