High school completion rates on Haida Gwaii shot up more than 20 per cent last year, from 70 per cent in 2017 to 93 per cent in 2018.
The Aboriginal rates of completion also rose in tandem with the overall figure, climbing from 68 per cent to 90 per cent in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
While pleased with the results and giving credit to the community for the upward trend, School District No. 50’s interim superintendent Joanne Yovanovich was cautious to celebrate the achievement.
“We always struggle with interpreting data because of our small population. But we recognize the parents and the communities support for education — for the most part the community holds that as a high value, that the kids graduate. That’s not always the case [in other districts].”
The SD50 numbers outpace the overall Provencal averages — all-time highs — that show 86 per cent of all students and 76 per cent of Indigenous students received Dogwood or Adult diplomas in B.C. last year.
Yovanovich attributes Haida Gwaii’s higher statistics in part to academic intervention with struggling students and efforts by teachers to familiarize and work with kids’ individual needs.
“Sometimes people interpret the data that all kids are A students,” she says. “Well, they’re not, but they’re certainly getting the credits to graduate.”
There were not enough special needs students enrolled locally to meet the Ministry of Education’s threshold to release information.
The grad rates, also known as six-year-completion rates, are not actually clear cut percentages of Grade 12 students who earn diplomas. Rates are based on the Grade 8 students who started in this district six years ago. Those students are tracked, and then the number who graduate, whether in this district or elsewhere, tally up to give the school district’s grad rate percentage.
To view the full results released by the B.C. Ministry of Education visit https://studentsuccess.gov.bc.ca/school-district/050
-with files from Brittany Gervais