EDITORIAL: High marks for grad strategy

Plan to keep students on track is showing positive results

For many students across Greater Victoria, graduating from high school can seem an insurmountable task.

Stresses from family, substance abuse, peer pressure, poverty or learning disabilities can erode the chances a youth will graduate on time, or at all. Outcomes from this are predictable and dire, and Dogwoods are the bare minimum for most jobs higher than minimum wage.

For the past decade, the Greater Victoria School District has recognized that with a specific grade structure, and a focused effort, it could boost what was a truly lousy graduation rate (called the completion rate) of less than 70 per cent. For 2012-13 it hit an all-time high of 84.5 per cent.

There is no magic formula, and SD61 has seen declines along the way, but it has recognized that traditional approaches of punishment and threats are no longer seen as useful tools to get a student to change bad habits.

Educators and administrators now strive to find the root of students’ problems and challenges. Teachers can’t force kids to go to school, but they can give them resources and strategies to change bad situations and realize what’s in their best interest.

Keeping kids coming back to the building can be key, and SD61 superintendent John Gaiptman is proud to point out that the district has made it very difficult to drop out of school.

Administrators in the district also comb databases of student attendance and achievement to gauge very early on who will be at-risk of not graduating without intervention and monitoring.

Other school districts and educators in the region work hard to have their students graduate on time, but they might want to look at what SD61 is doing differently.

Other than Greater Victoria, completion rates in the other local school districts remains below the provincial average of 83.6 per cent. Sooke district hit 73.3 for 2012-13 and Saanich district 69.7.

Of course, any number below 100 per cent means kids are entering society without a basic education, and all school districts are still far from that ideal.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

One-man Frankenstein show coming to Craigdarroch Castle

The Halloween special will kick off at the beginning of October

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read