Secondary schools in the North Vancouver School District are redesigning their student recognition programs to better align with the new British Columbia curriculum. Academic achievement awards are now in place at all secondary schools that offer more meaningful and accurate recognition of student academic success. These revamped awards are honoured at awards ceremonies in a more celebratory fashion than past academic programs.
The redesign and enhancement of school-based academic awards supports students with their learning. Students are encouraged to take risks and to delve deeper into their learning, understanding that learning and development are ongoing processes throughout the year. The academic awards are a true achievement that students work incredibly hard towards. This revamped recognition process also supports modern assessment practices that are cumulative for the entire school year, as opposed to a snapshot of marks which does not allow students to be recognized for the entirety of their learning.
The new academic awards programs are replacing what was known as 'honour roll'. This former system was based on a percentage cut off point above which students would get on the honour roll list. This past model no longer aligned with the new curriculum and new assessment practices. Honour roll was based on the first two term report cards. However, the new curriculum is focused on continual learning and core competencies that are taught and learned all year. To support the new curriculum, assessment is now cumulative, and, thus, an accurate reflection of academic achievement can only be determined based on the final report card in June. Our method of recognizing student academic achievement needed to adapt to the new grading process. The honour roll was also inconsistent across local schools and school districts. As each school is unique with different courses and options, inaccurate data collection and tabulation processes were causes for concern. This lack of consistency meant that the system did not truly reflect student success.
Celebrating student success is incredibly important. The North Vancouver School District is committed to honouring students in the most meaningful ways possible. The redesigned academic achievement programs at each secondary school will continue to challenge students and better reflect their academic growth in a profound way.
All secondary schools have their own timelines and processes for revamping student recognition and are at varying points along the process of redesign. These processes have included communications with the school communities. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school.
Superintendent, North Vancouver School District