The Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council in the Northwest Territories is celebrating historically high results in a test designed to gauge students' skills in literacy and math.
Devin Roberts, superintendent of education for the council, said COVID-19 has made the school year challenging, but the "Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) results are absolutely proof that a lot of great learning occurred, despite any challenges."
Students from grades 4-9 have been taking the tests — run by the Canadian Test Centre — since 2013.
"Throughout our history with CATs we've seen pockets of success, students doing well individually," said Roberts. "But this is the first year that we've seen... a lot of success with the CATs."
All grades approached the national average, he said, and Grade 8 students in particular exceeded the national average in reading, vocabulary, spelling and math.
Grade 5 students met the national average for reading at 82 per cent and spelling at 78 per cent, while Grade 9 students met the national average in spelling at 77 per cent.
Roberts said students should take pride in the results.
"It's their hard work, their achievement. It shows that they are incredibly resilient. We've known for a long time that the students of the Beaufort Delta are capable of anything and this is just one example."
Roberts credits teachers for working hard to support students. He also said the Northern Distance Learning program — which allows students in remote communities to take more academic courses from home — helps young people chase their dreams.
"It's absolutely positive and absolutely possible," he said.
Roberts said there will be a celebration at all the schools in the fall to mark students' achievements.