While the English skills of children in HRM improve through elementary and junior high, their math skills suffer.
Examinations of grade two students show that children are mastering the foundations of mathematics at an early age, with 80 per cent of students in 90 elementary schools meeting expectations.
But this declines when the children reach grade eight.
Eighty per cent of grade eight students in only 13 schools met expectations.
Superintendent Carole Olsen presented this information as part of her 2009 annual report to the Halifax Regional School Board Wednesday.
“Good Schools to Great Schools” is part of a five year plan to see improvement in all schools by 2013.
The report details surveys done in the 137 schools in HRM to assess literacy, mathematics and how students learn in the classroom. Surveys were also given to parents and communities to access how they feel about student learning.
“Each individual school is different,” Olsen said. “We want to ensure that…the improvements are going to be within the school. We are not comparing schools. We want each school to improve and have them engage their community and engage the parents.”
The report was broken down into three booklets: one for parents, one for HRSB staff and one for the community.
“What this report enabled us to do is take the vast amount of information we’ve been working with and bring it together in a nice, concise format that really painted a picture of where we are as a school,” said Kevin Power, the principal of Beechville Lakeside Timberlea School.
Olsen wrote in the report that the school board plans to invest in literacy and mathematics coaches and more teacher resources to improve student learning.