Grad rates high for SD37

Delta School District exceeding provincial average

The Delta School District is doing extremely well when it comes to graduation rates.

In a presentation to the board of education last Tuesday, superintendent Doug Sheppard outlined the latest provincial data on six-year completion rates. The data is the percentage of students who graduate with a B.C. Certificate of Graduation or B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma within six years from the first time they enroll in Grade 8.

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The Delta School District exceeded both the provincial as well as Metro Vancouver average for not only overall graduation rate but also subgroups such as aboriginal, non-English language learners and special needs.

Sheppard said Delta had a particularly significant increase in special needs student graduation from four years ago, when it was around 62 per cent, something the district takes a lot of pride in as it continues to work to improve that result.

“One of the reasons for this is the province as a whole has really pushed districts to stop just giving completions to students with special needs… There’s been a real strong push from parents and from the province as a whole to say, ‘No, we’re better than that. We’re better educators than that and we can find solutions to ensure more of our students reach their full potential,’” he said.

When it comes to aboriginal students, Sheppard said the district is pleased with the results, so far, but when compared to other students, there’s still a significant gap that needs to be closed.

He added the upward trends tie into the district vision for education where all learners will graduate and have the best opportunities.

Asked about how the graduation rate statistics for public schools differ from private schools, Sheppard noted individual independent schools only have enough students to generate their own yearly school-based graduation rates, and those are purely based on students who enter Grade 12 and graduate. Based on that type of measurement, most Delta public schools are in the upper 90 percentile, he said.

Sheppard noted some students who enter Grade 8 may leave the district and never come back, so it’s almost impossible to hit the 100 per cent mark for six-year calculations.

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