Stanley Humphries Secondary School Class of 2018. Photo: Betsy Kline

Kootenay Columbia grad rates top provincial numbers

“We continue to be a high-performing district … on all fronts,” says SD 20 Superintendent Bill Ford

Students in Kootenay Columbia School District 20 continue to finish high school at rates at or above the provincial average.

RELATED: Grad rates on upswing in Kootenay Columbia district

The B.C. government has released updated statistics that reveal 268 students in the Kootenay Columbia district — or 87 per cent of the student body — completed their education in 2018 with a Certificate of Graduation or Adult Graduation Diploma.

The district’s five-year success rate ranges from 81 to 93 per cent, and generally exceeds numbers from across the province which fall somewhere between 75 and 86 per cent within that same timeframe.

“We continue to be a high-performing district with completion rates at or above the provincial average on all fronts,” Superintendent Bill Ford told Black Press.

“Of particular note is the data for students of Aboriginal ancestry and students with special needs,” he said.

“The completion rates for these cohorts of students are significantly higher than the provincial results, and show a minimal gap between these groups and all other students.”

Specifically, 35 students with Aboriginal ancestry, or 81 per cent, completed school in the Kootenay Columbia district last year. The five-year average ranges from 61 to 88 per cent compared to the provincial average of 62 to 79 per cent.

Similarly, 36 special needs students finished school, which translates to an 80-per-cent completion rate. Across the province that number has been 75 per cent and less over the past five years.

But what do these number really mean?

“When looking at data such as completion rates, we look for trends,” Ford explained. “The trends for our district indicate that we are doing the work to get the majority of our students successfully through to graduation. Do we get all of them through?” he continued.

“No, but that would be the goal, to achieve a 100-per-cent completion rate for the students in our district.”

So not a perfect record, but the direction has been on the upswing for years.

“Completion rates in our district a decade ago were not what they are now,” Ford said. “Now that we have achieved success in terms of high and stable completion rates, we now are turning our collective focus on the quality of the educational experience students have in our schools,” he added.

“We continue to focus on the implementation of the new curriculum, including assessment practices and reporting, with the goal of improving learning for today’s world.”



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