Every school tells its own story. We all talk about it – kids, parents, colleagues, and even people who have a limited view from the outside. All of these narratives combine to form the story of The École. I hear that story just as often as I contribute to writing it, and I add to it just as much as it informs my decisions.

One of the most enduring narratives at the heart of our story is that there exists an indomitable dichotomy between a warm, caring school where children thrive and one where children excel academically. I have strived since I arrived at The École to show that we can be both and to prove that we don’t have to abandon our values when we offer rigorous curricula that rival those of the very best schools. In order for that narrative to become part of our story, in order for everyone to believe in it and share it, we need to go beyond mere perception and offer tangible facts. Our use of MAP Growth this year – and its possible extension to other Grade levels next year – is part of that process, as is the fact that our 1st Grade students sit national evaluations and that our middle schoolers take standardized high-school entrance tests. In short, anything that allows us to measure our students’ academic achievements is in!

We know since Lavoisier that measurement is what separates philosophy from science, and the debatable from the indisputable. So I was very happy when Mr. Duchier suggested that we should sign our students up for the Kangourou des mathématiques this year. The Kangourou is an international math competition that more than 6 million students participate in annually. I was excited to finally receive some solid statistics about the level of math at The École.

The results of the Kangourou – so named because it was created in Australia – were announced this week, and the least we can say is that we were not disappointed! Old hands like Benoît and I, and not-so-old hands like Mr. Duchier, know that a student who scores in the top 1,000 has done exceptionally well, considering the difficulty of the test and the intensity of the competition. And we’re only talking about A student, as in ONE, because the idea of having several students from different grades in the same school scoring in the top 1,000 is simply unheard of. So, you can only imagine our shock and disbelief this week when we received the results. “No way” echoed throughout the classrooms, corridors, offices, and teachers’ lounges of The École. I would like to thank all of our teachers for their work and for the highly convincing results.

I am only going to speak now of the students who scored the highest, even though there are plenty who also scored well. In total, six students from The École scored in the top 1,000 – out of 111 participants from our 3rd to 8th Grade classes. We have at least one student in the top 1,000 in four different grade levels – 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th. We would like to congratulate Ethan from 7th Grade who came in 500th place out of 40,633 students, Marine from 5th Grade who came 776th out of 35,016 students, and Chloé and Aïa in 4th Grade who came 557th and 282nd respectively. These are spectacular results in their own right, but that’s not all. Gauthier, from 6th Grade came 47th out of 61,546 students and deserves all of our congratulations. Finally, on behalf of The École team and the entire community, I would like to offer an enormous round of applause to Annabelle who quite simply won the international 4th Grade Kangourou competition – she came 1st out of 31,702 students! We are very, very, very proud of you Annabelle!

These fabulous results are the trace of the intense work carried out by our students and teachers every single day. They prove what I already knew and what I see every day:  we are playing in the big leagues. And that is the real story of The École.