By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
Kootenay Lake School District has a lower secondary school completion rate than the provincial average, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ministry of Education.
School District No. 8 had a secondary school completion rate amongst boys, girls, aboriginal and English as a second language (ESL) students of 74 per cent, 5.7 per cent less than the provincial average of 79.7 per cent.
Completion rates are determined by tracking the number of students entering Grade 8 who graduate within six years with a Dogwood diploma, B.C.’s secondary school graduation certificate.
In all, 72.5 per cent of girls and 75.7 per cent of boys in the school district obtained a Dogwood diploma, while 58.7 per cent of aboriginal youth and 29 per cent of ESL students did.
The number of completions left the school district at 33rd out of 60 provincial school districts.
Nearby, Kootenay-Columbia School District No. 20 had a completion rate of 83.9 per cent, with 87.3 per cent of girls, 80.6 per cent of boys and 65.2 per cent of aboriginal students obtaining a Dogwood diploma.
To the north, Arrow Lakes sat at 88.1 per cent, Revelstoke at 97.9 per cent (the highest in the province) and Southeast Kootenay to the east was 80.8 per cent.
This year, B.C. saw a slight overall increase of less than one per cent to the provincial completion rate due to a large number of districts increasing their rates a little, rather than a few big districts increasing by large numbers.
This year’s completion rates are available online at: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reports/pdfs/graduation/prov.pdf
• Just over half of aboriginal students (50.4 per cent) completed school last year – that’s 1.6 per cent more than in 2008-09.
• Twenty-three school districts have aboriginal completion rates of 60 per cent or more — including SD8 — up eight districts from last year.
• Revelstoke had a completion rate of 97.9 per cent last year – 100 per cent of the girls completed.
• Independent school completion rates remain high at 88 per cent for 2009-10, down from 89.7 per cent in 2008-09.
Completion rates should not be confused with graduation rates.
Graduation rates are determined by tracking the number of students enrolled in Grade 12 who graduate at the end of the school year.
Provincial completion rates include students in both public and independent schools, but only data from public schools is used to calculate school district completion rates.
Districts with small numbers of specific student groups, like Aboriginal or ESL students, may experience dramatic shifts in completion rates for those groups.