The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

April 23, 2008 06:30 ET

The Fraser Institute: Quebec Schools Recognized for Academic Performance and Improvement at the First Garfield Weston Awards Ceremony

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - Fourteen secondary schools from across Quebec were recognized as being among the top performing schools in the province at the first Garfield Weston Awards for Excellence in Education dinner in Montreal Tuesday.

Awards were presented in three categories, each reflecting different aspects of academic success. Improvement in Academics recognizes schools that have experienced the fastest, most consistent improvement in their academic performance over the past five years. Academic Achievement in Excess of Expectations recognizes schools that ensure that their students succeed regardless of the hurdles they may face. This award challenges the notion that only schools in rich neighbourhoods are able to succeed academically. The award for Overall Academic Achievement recognizes schools whose students have achieved remarkable, ongoing academic success over the past five years.

The awards are based on an analysis of the historical data of each school included in the Fraser Institute's annual Report Card on Quebec's Secondary Schools. Out of 466 secondary schools from across Quebec, only the top schools in each category are invited to participate in the awards.

"The teachers, support staff and administrators from these schools are committed to their students and are working hard to improve education in their community," said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization.

"It is an enormous accomplishment for a school to be recognized as a winner, a runner-up or as a school of distinction. Regardless of where they finish, they are among the very best in the entire province," added Tasha Kheiriddin, Director, Quebec and la francophonie at the Fraser Institute.

Ecole secondaire Notre-Dame, a French private school from a community about 430 kilometers north east of Montreal, won the award for Academic Achievement in Excess of Expectations and a $3,000 prize. Runners-up were Academie Beth Rivkah pour filles of Montreal and Ecole secondaire Saint-Marc from the Quebec region. Both schools received a $1,000 prize.

All three finalists from the category of Improvement in Academics are public schools. Phoenix Alternative School of Laval won the award and the $3,000 prize. Runners-up were Pontiac High School of Shawville and Laval Liberty High School. Both schools received a $1,000 prize.

Two of the top three schools in the category of Overall Academic Achievement came from the Monteregie district: Ecole d'education internationale, a public school in McMasterville, was the winner and received the $3,000 prize. College Saint-Hilaire, a private school in Mont Saint-Hilaire, was a runner-up and took home a $1,000 prize. The other runner-up was College Saint-Sacrement of Terrebonne taking home the same prize.

"Teachers and support staff at these schools are finding effective and innovative ways of rapidly and consistently improving school and student performance. At the end of the day, they are building a better school for their students and this should be cause for a great deal of pride and celebration," Cowley said.

Photos of the event are available upon request.

Backgrounder: Complete List of all Weston Award-winning Schools

Academic Achievement in Excess of Expectations-

Winner Ecole secondaire Notre-Dame - Riviere-Du Loup
First Runner-up Academie Beth Rivkah pour filles - Montreal
Second Runner-up Ecole secondaire Saint-Marc - Saint-Marc-des-Carrieres

Schools of distinction
Ecole secondaire de Riviere du Loup - Riviere-du-Loup
Joliette High School - Joliette
Academie Dunton - Montreal
Ecole secondaire de Degelis - Degelis

Improvement in Academics
Winner Phoenix Alternative School - Laval
First Runner-up Pontiac High School - Shawville
Second Runner-up Laval Liberty High School - Laval

School of distinction
College Francais (annexe de Montreal) - Montreal

Awards for Overall Academic Achievement
Winner Ecole d'education internationale - McMasterville
First Runner-up College Saint-Sacrement - Terrebonne
Second Runner-up College Saint-Hilaire -Mont Saint-Hilaire

School of distinction
Ecole secondaire Saint-Marc - Saint-Marc-des-Carrieres

The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with offices in Calgary, Montreal, Tampa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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