When an Aboriginal student makes it to Grade 12 in the Kamloops-Thompson school district, they have a higher percentage of finishing that final year than do non-Aboriginal students.
Mike Bowden, district principal for aboriginal education, said it’s another indicator of the success School District 73 is experiencing in its focus on ensuring more Aboriginal students are successful. In a comprehensive study on success rates of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, Bowden found 97 per cent of Aboriginal students in Grade 12 will graduate with a Dogwood certificate, compared to 95 per cent for non-Aboriginals. The actual numbers remain far apart; there were 996 non-Aboriginal and 170 Aboriginal graduates this year.
Bowden also looked at the statistic the provincial government considers when looking at graduation, studying a six-year success rate for students who enter Grade 8 and graduate within that time period. This year, that rate continued the increase that has been seen in the past five years.
In 2007, for example, 67 per cent of Aboriginal Grade 8 students graduated by 2013. For those who entered Grade 8 in 2011, 79 per cent graduated this year.
Bowden said it’s another indicator the district is closing in on parity between the two cohorts.
Comparable numbers for non-Aboriginal showed 81 per cent graduated by 2013 and 87 per cent graduated by 2017 over the applicable six-year periods.