Grad rates down but still above B.C. average

Assistant superintendent says small fluctuation 'not a concern'

School District 43 continues to tout its six-year graduation rates as an important indicator of student success even though there was a small drop in the rate last year.

The 2015/’16 rates show 89.3% of students graduated within six years of entering Grade 8, down from 92.7% the year previously. But assistant superintendent Reno Ciolfi pointed out SD43's rate is still higher than the provincial average at 83.6%.

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"The important information is that we continue to lead the province in six-year graduation rates," Ciolfi told The Tri-City News in an email. "This year, we are well above the provincial average in all six categories."

Indeed, SD43 graduated more females, males, aboriginal students, English language learners and special needs students than the provincial average by a wide margin in some cases (see chart).

But comparing year-to-year results, SD43 saw six-year graduation rates drop in all groups after three consecutive years of improvement, with the largest decreases amongst aboriginal students (84.5% to 70.5%), English language learners (90.1 %to 87.5%) and special needs students (83.5% to 79.1%).

Ciolfi said the movement in the six-year completion rates is part of normal fluctuations that occur in all school districts.

BY THE NUMBERS

2015/’16 Six year completion rates

CATEGORY        SD43    B.C.

All students        89.3%    83.6%

Female            91.2%    85.8%

Male                87.5%    81.4%

Aboriginal        70.5%    63.8%

ELL                87.5%    87.1%

Special needs        79.1%    67%

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