A Guide to the Best Secondary Schools in Kelowna, Ranked by the Fraser Institute

    Why is location such a big deal in real estate? Often, location comes down to finding the right school for your children. The school you choose can have a huge impact on your child’s life, so people will understandably put a lot of thought and effort into finding the right one. If you’re planning a move, and hoping to choose an area that lands you in the catchment for one of the best schools in Kelowna, take a look at these top-ranking secondary schools, as ranked by the Fraser Institute.

    The Fraser Institute’s School Performance Report Cards

    Since it was introduced in 1998, the BC Secondary School Report Card has become one of the biggest performance indicators for secondary schools in the province. This annual report ranks schools based on provincial exam results, grade-to-grade transition rates, and graduation rates. The report card also provides valuable information about each school such as enrollment levels, demographics, gender gaps, and more. To make it easier to understand, each school is given an overall rating out of 10.

    Okanagan Mission Secondary: Number One in the City

    In 2011-12, Okanagan Mission Secondary received an 8.5 score from the Fraser Institute, making it the number one ranking secondary school in Kelowna. This public school had a modest grade 12 enrollment of 201 students in 2011-12. The school’s score actually went up by .5 points from 2010-11, thanks to a higher average for exam marks and a lower exam failure rate. The graduation rate at this school is also extremely high, at 99.5 per cent. Because it’s in the Mission area, the average income level of parents at the school is $111,000, which means that enrollment in this high-performing public school does come at a cost in terms of property prices. For some, however, the cost might be worth it, as this school is currently ranked 17th overall in BC.

    Kelowna Christian: The City’s Top Private School

    Among Kelowna’s six secondary schools, three are private: Kelowna Christian, Heritage Christian, and Immaculata. Of those three, Kelowna Christian is currently the highest ranked by the Fraser Institute at 8.4, which is only one percentage point short of Okanagan Mission Secondary. In fact, Kelowna Christian beat out Okanagan Mission last year in the school rankings. This school has a slightly lower graduation rate than Okanagan Mission at 98.5 per cent, but its average test scores are tied with Okanagan Mission at 77.7 per cent. This school also had a low enrollment level last year, with only 67 students signed up for grade 12.

    Kelowna Secondary: The Largest School in the District

    Most secondary school students in Kelowna will end up at Kelowna Secondary or “KSS”. This is the largest school in the district, and had a grade 12 enrollment of 554 last year. This school’s ranking, however, is much lower than the previous two schools mentioned. For 2011-12, the Fraser Institute gave Kelowna Secondary a score of 7.3, making it 54th in the province. The graduation rate is still high, at 97.9 per cent, but test scores at this school are a bit lower, averaging out at 70.9 per cent.

    Fortunately for those who live in Kelowna or are moving to the area, any of the city’s six schools are excellent choices. Even Rutland Secondary, which received the lowest score in the city, still has a graduation rate of 97.4 per cent, and is nowhere near the bottom of the list in terms of provincial rankings. So if you’re a parent who is concerned about their children’s educational future, you’ve definitely made the right choice by coming to Kelowna.

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