Graduation rate is best ever, school district reports

  • Dec. 19, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Students on Haida Gwaii are doing better than ever, according to the annual report on student achievement that superintendent Angus Wilson presented to school trustees Tuesday night.Mr. Wilson started off his presentation by thanking all the teachers and staff in the district for their work, which has resulted in several positive trends.One of the most important measures in the report, Mr. Wilson said, is the six-year completion rate. The rate reflects how many students start grade 8 on Haida Gwaii and end up graduating within six years.The measure is not perfect, he said – for one thing, it can include students who move away from Haida Gwaii and drop out of school elsewhere. But the six-year completion rate for 2013-14 was the best the district has ever seen at over 70 percent. For aboriginal students, the rate was 69 percent, one of the highest rates in the province.Although this is good news, Mr. Wilson said work remains to be done. One issue of concern in the district is marijuana use among students.”Our rate of marijuana use is nearly double the provincial average,” the report says. “While many view the substance as near harmless, its reputation for robbing people of ambition couple with our HELP result could be very concerning indeed. Our recent investments in counseling and student support are partly aimed at addressing this issue.”HELP stands for Human Early Learning Program. Students from Haida Gwaii had encouraging results in some areas but scored poorly on measures of persistence and resiliency in tasks, Mr. Wilson said. This is something that the district will be trying to improve on, he said.The report also outlines some of the unique programs that the Haida Gwaii school district has established. These include a comprehensive early learning program, success in reducing its carbon footprint, teacher mentoring, rural networking and outdoor education.Trustees voted to accept the report.

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