KAMLOOPS — Top marks for School District 73 when it comes to completion rates.
The district reached its long sought after goal of 85 per cent in the 2016-2017 school year, just slightly higher than the provincial average of 84 per cent.
B.C.'s Ministry of Education tracks a six year completion rate, which is how many students are able to complete a Dogwood diploma after six years of high school.
"And that takes into account students that might need a bit extra time to write an exam or finish an apprenticeship," says Assistant Superintendent Bill Hamblett. "So, this year the district is very pleased to see that we have reached our goal. It's wonderful news."
He attributes the success to a number of strategies School District 73 has put into place.
"Including the work of our school completion coordinator, using data to see if kids are on track to graduate," said Hamblett. "Meeting individual students that might just need to finish up a course and we have staff that work with those students."
He says another reason the district was able to reach its goal is the attention the district has paid to its Aboriginal students.
"It's paying off. All the good work with our Aboriginal bands and the staff we have. We have seen a growth in our Aboriginal completion rate to 79 per cent, which is compared to the provincial rate of 66 per cent. We're well above that which is really good news for our students."
A district report indicates the gap between all students and Aboriginal students in School District 73 is 6.8 per cent, narrowing from a 25 per cent gap in 2012-13.
And now that the district has reached its goal of an 85 per cent school completion rate, Hamblett says there's still work to do.
"Our goal is 90 per cent and to continually improve and keep at this."
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