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First Nation graduation rate jumps

First Nation graduation rate jumps

High school student graduation rates were at 83 per cent in School District #46 in 2017/18, the first year that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students graduated at the same rate.

This was the result of a slight drop in overall graduation rates from two years earlier, and a jump in Aboriginal graduation. The overall rate of 83 per cent was down from 85 per cent in 2015/16. Over the same period, the Aboriginal graduation rate jumped from 72 per cent to 83 per cent.

(In 2017/2018 the provincial graduation rate for all students was 85 per cent, and the province-wide rate for Aboriginal students was 70 per cent.)

The 2017/2018 year also saw a drop in the graduation level of Coast special needs students to 55 per cent. This is the lowest percentage of completion for these students in the past five years.  (The completion rate province-wide for students with special needs in the 2017/18 school year was 71 per cent.)

These details were presented to the district board of education at its May 8 meeting in a report on the district’s strategic plan for graduation from Paul Bishop, director of instruction.

The data comes from the province’s “Student Success” report,  available online at  The site presents data measured since the 2004/5 school year.  The graduation or completion percentage is based on the number of students who graduated within six years of their first enrollment in Grade 8.

“We are immensely proud that our Aboriginal students are performing at our highest level ever,” said Patrick Bocking, district superintendent. “The remarkable result is due to the skills and dedication of our staff and the close partnership with Sechelt Nation. Some of our students do need more support and more time to accomplish their educational goals. Again, our staff see them through to their ultimate success.”

Other information included in the “Student Success” data relates to student satisfaction surveys. In District #46 during the 2017/18 year, students ranked both their level of satisfaction with “feeling welcome” and “what they are learning”  lower than in previous years.  Coast students indicated a higher level of satisfaction in 2017/18 compared to previous years with how they are “learning to stay healthy” at school.

“We review the student satisfaction survey results carefully for trends. This review helps schools to have meaningful dialogue with our students about making sure that they are coming to school each day to healthy and safe learning environments,” said Bocking.

Connie Jordison

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