Prince Rupert School District sees graduation rate improving

The number of Prince Rupert students who are successful in completing high school within six years has increased over the last three years.

The number of Prince Rupert students who are successful in completing high school within six years has increased over the last three school years, as well as grade 4 students being successful in their required FSA testing.

However the district is still struggling in some areas. That was the message of School District 52 Superintendent Lynn Hauptman’s annual report to the Ministry of Education, which she shared with the board of education at the last monthly school board meeting.

School completion rates have improved slightly each year since 2009/2010 when 58 per cent of students completed their schooling within six years. The 2010/2011 school year saw 63 per cent of students complete school, with 67 per cent of students finishing their schooling within six years in 2011-2012.

“I’m very proud of the work that is happening in our district,” Hauptman told the board.

“The board is excited to hear student achievement is continuing to improve. The district’s innovative programs and the board’s focus on supporting the instructional inquiries on student achievement is clearly making a difference,” said Tina Last, board chair.

However these numbers are still below the provincial average. In the 2009/2010 school year 80 per cent of British Columbian students completed high school within six years, and in 2010/2011 81 per cent were successful.

Hauptman said even though the district’s numbers are below the provincial rate, the district is moving in the right direction and closing the gap.

The district is happy to say the number of Aboriginal students completing school in six years has also increased. In 2009/2010 35 per cent of Aboriginal students earned their diploma within six years of secondary school, moving up to 43 per cent in 2010/2011 and once again up to 47 per cent last school year.

Once again this is below provincial levels, with 50 per cent of Aboriginal students completing their high school education within six years in 2009/2010 and 53 per cent in 2010/2011.

The district said with over 60 per cent of students in the district being of Aboriginal ancestry improving results for these students is a high priority moving forward.

At the elementary level, grade 4 student results in reading and numeracy increased. In the 2009/2010 school year, 51 per cent of students met or exceeded expectations on their FSA reading test, and 41 per cent in numeracy. The following year 48 per cent passed their reading testing, and 46 per cent in numeracy. In 2011-2012 school year 66 per cent of grade 4 students met or exceeded expectations in read and 57 per cent in numeracy.

Although grade 4 numbers saw improvement, grade 7 students’ FSA results in reading, writing and numeracy all decreased. In 2009/2010, 54 per cent of grade 7 students met or exceeded expectations in their reading FSA test, 44 per cent in numeracy and 65 per cent in writing. All numbers decreased the next school year, and continued to in 2011-2012. Last year, 48 per cent of grade 7 students were successful in the reading FSA test, 41 per cent in numeracy and 57 per cent in writing.