Edmonton Public Schools

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

"Student achievement is improving with real measurable results. We are showing growth on both provincially mandated achievement test and high school completion rates."

Edmonton Public Schools found itself with an interesting challenge in the fall of 2000. While some schools in the district performed well, as a group its test scores had generally stagnated and its high school completion rates lagged behind the rest of the province.

The district had experienced many successes in recent years. It had broken new ground with the introduction of site-based decision-making, new formulas for funding schools and other institutional improvements. But it hadn't yet seen improvement where it mattered most — student achievement.

That fall, the district selected 26 schools for a pilot program to create and implement the Blueprints Framework. Each school received monthly training and coaching, and many made great gains in the first year.

Based on the pilot schools' success, the initiative was expanded and all 200 schools were invited to participate. This renewed focus on superb results from all students helped the Edmonton schools:

  • Target a professional development plan for all principals and teachers around researched-based teaching strategies in English and math.
 
  • Re-orient central office support around issues of teaching and learning.
 
  • Use coaching, both on-site and off-site, to support developing principals' capacity as instructional leaders.
 
  • Strengthen district-wide collaboration - Our team worked in an on-going and intensive collaboration with the district superintendent and senior leadership throughout the entire process.

Student achievement continues to improve with real, measurable results: