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School trustees promise higher graduation rates in Central Okanagan

Kelowna Secondary School on Raymer Ave. The Central Okanagan School District is boasting a higher six-year completion rate than its neighbours in Penticton, Vernon and Kamloops.
January 29, 2015 - 6:33 PM

KELOWNA - Getting them to school is easy. Getting them to graduate is a bit tougher. That’s the conclusion of the student graduation and readiness report Central Okanagan school trustees will soon receive from staff.

“It’s one of the big ways we measure student success,” superintendent Hugh Gloster says.

The report by director of instruction Norm Bradley provides trustees with snapshot of students from grade 8 to 12 as measured by the six-year completion rate. That amounts to 88.3 per cent of the cohort in 2013-14, or 2,170 students.

A completion rate target of 93 per cent has been set for June 2016, a big jump given the incremental changes to the rate over the last ten years, when the six-year completion rate was just 76 per cent.

“It’s setting the bar high, I know, but sometimes that’s what you have to do with these things to move forward,” Gloster says.

According to the report, the school district here has overtaken those in Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton since 2004 when it lagged behind both its neighbours and the provincial average. Penticton’s rate in 2013-14 was 83.5 per cent, Vernon was 83.8 per cent and Kamloops was 82.8 per cent. The provincial average last year was 84.2 per cent.

Susan Bauhart, president of the Central Okanagan Teacher’s Association says teachers are fully on board with the report’s conclusions and 14-point plan.

“I mean, how can you argue against student completion,” she says. “I think this report demonstrates the flexibility that has been introduced to the system that is allowing greater success. There are those kids who are not meant to follow the academic vein. It’s not for everyone.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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