British Columbia’s Top Schools | Best Schools in BC

BC has one of the best educational systems in the world and this is one of the main reasons why the province continues to be a top relocation destination. If you have school-age children and you’re wondering which particular schools are typically ranked the best, have a look at the Fraser Institute’s most recent rankings of BC’s top elementary and secondary schools of 2011-12 and their ratings (10 being the highest):

K-12 Schools in BC

Crofton House, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

An independent university preparatory school for girls, Crofton House was founded in 1898 and is BC’s most prominent all-girls day school. It’s located on a wooded 10-acre campus.

Meadowridge, Maple Ridge
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.8
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

Meadowridge School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) co-ed preparatory school and its mission is “Learning to live well, with others and for others, in a just community.”

Richmond Christian, Richmond
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.6
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.0

Established in 1957, Richmond Christian School has three campuses (elementary, middle and secondary). As of now, it is the only school in the city with a middle school program.

Southpointe, Delta
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 9.4
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

Southpointe Academy is located in Tsawwassen and was founded in 2000 (and re-founded in 2004). It recently moved into a new 68,000-sq.-ft. facility and is currently partnered with schools in China, France and Spain.

Southridge, Surrey
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

Southridge is an independent university preparatory co-ed school on a 17-acre campus in South Surrey. It is an International Baccalaureate World School (IB) for Grades K – 7.

St. George’s, Vancouver
Grades: 1-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.5
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

Founded in 1930, St. George’s is an independent preparatory boarding and day school for boys located on two campuses near the University of British Columbia. 100% of its graduates gain acceptance to universities.

St. Michaels, Victoria
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.1
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.1

St. Michaels University School is an independent co-ed day and boarding school with campuses in Oak Bay and Saanich. More than half of its graduates earn college scholarships.

Vancouver College, Vancouver
Grades: K-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 8.6
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

An all-boys Catholic prep school, VC is located in Shaughnessy and was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1922. It has an enrolment of just over 1,000 across its three schools (elementary, middle and senior).

West Point Grey, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 9.3
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 9.7

As its name implies, West Point Grey Academy is located in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood, on a 37-acre campus. An independent co-ed day school, it has an average class size of 22 students.

York House, Vancouver
Grades: JK-12
Elementary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Elementary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0
Secondary 2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Secondary rating in the most recent five years: 10.0

Centrally located in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood, York House School is an independent day school for girls established in 1932. It has 100% university acceptance.

Elementary Schools in BC

Corpus Christi, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Located in Southeast Vancouver, Corpus Christi School was established in 1957 and is administered by the Corpus Christi Parish. It feeds into Notre Dame Regional Secondary.

Mulgrave, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Mulgrave is an independent co-ed International Baccalaureate (IB) World School whose mission is “Inspiring excellence in education and life.” It is located on the North Shore.

West Bay, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 10.0
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

West Bay School is located in the West Bay neighbourhood and has been an IB World School since 2007. It also has a preschool, Early Inquirers, located on site.

St. Joseph’s, Smithers
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.9

Established in 1959, St. Joseph’s is a Catholic school in the Diocese of Prince George. It follows the B.C. curriculum and offers additional instruction in French and Music, among others.

Our Lady of Mercy, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.8

Our Lady of Mercy School was founded in 1959. Part of its mission is the belief “that all people best learn and teach in an atmosphere of compassion, generosity, joy and laughter.”

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.9
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.3

Located on the Westside, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School was established in 1927. OLPH also has a junior kindergarten program.

St. Paul, Richmond
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 10.0

St. Paul School is run by the St. Paul Parish and first opened its doors in 1961. Part of its philosophy is to “challenge the students to achieve their highest level of performance and strive for excellence.”

Holy Cross, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.8

Holy Cross Elementary is under the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese school board. Extracurricular activities include cross-country running, basketball, and mountain activities.

John Knox Christian, Burnaby
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

John Knox Christian School was established in 1955 and is set to merge soon with Vancouver Christian School and Carver Christian High School under a unified school system.

St. Augustine, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.5

Founded in 1921, St. Augustine School is one of the Vancouver Archdiocese’s oldest Catholic schools. It is currently building its new school facility.

Secondary Schools in BC

Little Flower, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 9.3
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.6

The only Catholic high school for girls in Vancouver, Little Flower Academy is located in Shaughnessy. It has had a 100% graduation rate and college acceptance rate over the past 5 years.

Brentwood College, Mill Bay
2011-12 Rating: 9.2
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.3

A co-ed boarding school, Brentwood was established in 1923 and has a 49-acre oceanfront campus. Around 80% of each graduating class are accepted to their first choice of university.

Collingwood, West Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.8
Rating in the most recent five years: 9.1

Collingwood School has two campuses, with grades 8-12 in the Morven Campus. A co-ed preparatory school, it is known for its debating and public speaking and advanced placement programs.

Relevant, Surrey
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

Relevant High School is co-ed and non-denominational. It is administered by the Relevant Schools’ Society, which was formed in 1970 and seeks “to develop academic excellence, as well as social and cultural awareness.”

St. Margaret’s, Victoria
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

St. Margaret’s School was established in 1908 on Vancouver Island. It is an independent, non-denominational all-girls day and boarding school.

Timothy Christian, Chilliwack
2011-12 Rating: 8.7
Rating in the most recent five years: n/a

Timothy Christian School is part of the Society of Christian Schools in BC. Its mission is “to graduate students who are ruled by God’s Word, and prepared to be upright, contributing members of society.

Okanagan Mission, Kelowna
2011-12 Rating: 8.5
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.3

A public high school in School District 23 Central Okanagan, Okanagan Mission Secondary is noted for its fine arts and athletics programs. Its motto is “Excellence through effort.”

University Hill, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.7

Located in the University Endowment Lands area, University Hill Secondary is consistently ranked as the province’s top public secondary school. It is very near the University of British Columbia.

Kelowna Christian, Kelowna
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 8.5

Apart from its high school, Kelowna also has preschool as well as elementary and middle schools. It is located in Okanagan Valley and was founded in 1978.

King David, Vancouver
2011-12 Rating: 8.4
Rating in the most recent five years: 7.9

King David High School is a co-ed Jewish community high school located in the Oakridge district. The campus is close to the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre.

More on the School Ratings

Elementary school ratings are calculated using Grades 4 and 7 Foundation Skills Assessment results. Secondary school ratings are based on a wider range of factors, including provincial exam results, graduation rates, and grade-to-grade transition rates.

Want more school and community info? Head to the Resources section for details on popular school boards in the region. The Fraser Institute publishes its report card annually so stay tuned for the release of the 2012-13 rankings soon. It should be noted that not all educators agree with the institute’s rankings—the preponderance of private schools is a matter of some concern, for one—so it’s still best to make a shortlist of the schools you’re interested in and to make inquiries about each.

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