By Diana Skolund
School District 73
Completion rates for students in School District No. 73 continue to improve according to the recently released stats from the BC Ministry of Education.
The rate for all SD73 students in the 2019-2020 school year is 89.5 per cent, up slightly from last year’s 88.3 per cent completion rate. The graduation rate measures the number of Grade 8 students who graduate within six years.
“Since 2012-2013 there has been an upward trend in School District No. 73’s Six-Year Completion Rate,” said Dr. Terry Sullivan, Superintendent of Schools. “This is especially evident with students earning a Dogwood Graduation Diploma.”
The completion rate for BC resident students in the district (excluding international students who move out of the district before graduation) continues the upwards trend set in 2012-2013, coming within the target range of 90 percent to 95 percent.
While the average is up for all students, the rate for Aboriginal students has decreased to 78.7 per cent from last year’s 84.1 per cent, a rate similar to 2017-2018’s 78.2 per cent.
“Successful school completion for all learners, and closing the completion rate gap between Aboriginal learners and Non-Aboriginal learners remains a priority,” Sullivan said.
The District’s commitment to this priority is reflected in four broad categories: personalized learning that provides flexibility and choice; a focus on inclusion and equity; structured support for struggling learners; and connecting learners to opportunities to complete after they have discontinued schooling.
The structured support for struggling learners; and connecting learners to opportunities to complete is largely the work of the School Completion Coordinator, Gino Coltrellaro, who through detailed data analysis continues to identify students who have not yet graduated with six-years of starting grade 8.
Sullivan commented on the system-wide changes that have been implemented to support school completion since his retirement in 2014. “When I look at this trend line I can see how far we have come in the last few years. These results are possible because of the hard work by students that commit to graduating despite obstacles and the people like Gino that connect with those students and help them complete high school.”
-Diana Skolund is Communications Manager for School District 73