Each year, the Superintendent of each school district in the province must provide the British Columbia Ministry of Education with an annual report on student achievement and Superintendent Lynn Hauptman of School District 52 presented her report to the local Board of Education last Tuesday, which showed a number of improvements in different areas.
The report stated that basic skills at kindergarten entry has continued to grow year by year, with 72 per cent of students meeting expectations last school year compared to 52 per cent in 2009 and 30 per cent in 2008. This can be credited to the many early learning programs and interventions the district offers to its students.
Kindergarten students have been making large gains by the end of the kindergarten year. Spring testing results have shown that 82 per cent of all learners are exceeding expectation in basic skills, with 83 per cent of Aboriginal students exceeding expectations in basic skills. Although phonological skills are at 65 per cent for all learners and 62 per cent for Aboriginal learners, which both don’t meet the target, they still are quite an improvement compared to the beginning of the year when only 38 per cent of all learners met expectations.
At the high school level there has been an improvement in blended final marks in a number of courses such as grade 10 English and Math, and grade 12 Communications – which saw a 100 per cent completion rate last year – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Francais Langue – which also saw a 100 per cent completion rate – French, Geography and History with more students passing these courses with higher grades.
“We have seen an improvement in our six-year completion rate,” said Haputman.
“We have seen some remarkable successes with our Aboriginal students.”
Although the amount of students with a six-year completion rate has increased in the district, it is still below the 70 per cent target. In 2009/2010 58 per cent of all learners and 35 per cent of Aboriginal learners completed their schooling, with 2010/2011 seeing an increase of six per cent for all learners, and nine per cent of Aboriginal learners.
“In a population this small that’s a fairly significant increase,” commented Hauptman.
First-time graduation rate has also increased, with the district seeing a seven per cent improvement for all students, and a 17 per cent increase for Aboriginal students.
“We are really closing the gap into the Provincial grade 12 rate. We want to continue to close that gap, or exceed it in the district,” said Hauptman.
Hauptman stated in the report that the completion rate of students in the district would be increased if it weren’t for some factors that count students as not graduating, even if they may have.
“By tracking our students the previous year, 42 students either moved out of province and country, or to on-reserve band run schools, were exchange students, or who graduated according to our records with an Evergreen Diploma. We believe that by excluding these students who have been counted as not graduating, that our completion rates would rise significantly given our small grade 12 population,” stated Hauptman in her report.
Additionally, at the post-secondary level the district has been seeing more of its’ students, 87 per cent to 89 per cent, entering post-secondary institutions within three years, with the largest portion of these students entering community colleges.