High school completion rate here worst in province

  • Dec. 20, 2006 2:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Education has singled out our school district as the worst in the province when it comes to last year’s high school completion rate. While 79-percent of students across BC completed high school last year, the same rate as the year before, the percentage here plunged to just 50-percent , the lowest of any district in BC. In the previous school year, 63-percent of students on the islands finished high school. The high school completion rate is the percentage of students who graduate with a dogwood diploma from public schools within six years of starting grade 8 for the first time. The completion rate is different from the graduation rate. The Ministry of Education defines the graduation rate as the number of students who are enrolled in grade 12 and who graduate at the end of that school year. In a news release sent out by the ministry earlier this week, Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte is singled out twice: for having the largest decrease in its completion rate, and for having the lowest rate in BC. School district superintendent Mike Woods said the statistics are troubling. “Of course we’re disappointed,” he said. “We were hoping to be in the 60-percent range.” One piece of positive news is that the completion rate for aboriginal students in this district was up last year, he said, rising to 42-percent from 37-percent the year before. However, Mr. Woods said our district’s small student numbers mean it’s often difficult to discern a trend. The completion rate for aboriginal students has fluctuated over the past several years. Across the province, 47-percent of aboriginal students completed high school last year, down a bit from the previous year. Mr. Woods said it’s also difficult to understand how the province calculates the completion rate. “We can’t really figure out how they computed the numbers,” he said. “I’ve asked that question of the ministry many times.” In the previous year, the district had an extraordinarily high rate of non-aboriginal students completing high school, 97-percent, which just points out how challenging it is to draw conclusions based on statistics, he said. The school district is trying hard to keep students in the classroom, Mr. Woods said. As long as students stay in school, they usually graduate eventually. “The drop-out rate is really the most troubling,” he said. “Trying to keep kids in school is a big part of our job.” The district has a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at this end, including outdoor education, literacy programs, extra support, small class sizes, and the new imaginative learning program, Mr. Woods said.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read