Lo­cal boards see slight uptick in high school grad­u­a­tion rates

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

NATALIE PAD­DON Hamil­ton’s pub­lic and Catholic boards are see­ing a slight uptick in the per­cent­age of stu­dents grad­u­at­ing high school within five years, new fig­ures from the province show.

More than three-quar­ters of Hamil­ton-Went­worth Dis­trict School Board stu­dents — 78.8 per cent — fin­ished high school within five years, ac­cord­ing to 2016 num­bers, com­pared to 78.2 per cent the year be­fore.

At the Hamil­ton-Went­worth Catholic Dis­trict School Board, 86.4 per cent of stu­dents grad­u­ated in the same time frame, up from 85.4 per cent in 2015.

Over­all, both boards came in lower than the pro­vin­cial five-year grad­u­a­tion rate, which is 86.5 per cent.

Di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion Manny Figueiredo said HWDSB is pleased to see the grad­u­a­tion rates in­creas­ing but stressed this year’s re­sults aren’t good enough.

“We can do bet­ter,” he said, not­ing the pub­lic board’s rates are in the bot­tom third across the province.

Figueiredo noted the board is try­ing to tackle the is­sue with long-term solutions, like mak­ing sure stu­dents are read­ing by Grade 1, as well as short-term plans, such as in­ter­ven­ing in Grade 9 when it comes to ad­dress­ing strug­gles with read­ing and math.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion also tracks the per­cent­age of stu­dents who grad­u­ate in four years, which was 79.6 per cent provincewide.

Hamil­ton’s four-year grad­u­a­tion rates were 70 per cent for the pub­lic board in 2016 — the same as 2015 — and 79.8 per cent for the Catholic board, up from 79.4 per cent the year prior.

“Ob­vi­ously, we’re pleased and very, very proud of our stu­dents,” said Catholic board chair Pat Daly. “Our goal is to con­tinue to see im­prove­ment.”

Daly pointed to the ded­i­ca­tion of staff and the ex­pan­sion of co-op and spe­cial­ist high-skills-ma­jor pro­grams as hav­ing helped boost the rates.

Both boards also do their own cal­cu­la­tions, which only in­clude stu­dents who stay at the re­spec­tive boards un­til grad­u­a­tion.

The min­istry, on the other hand, com­pares the num­ber of stu­dents who began Grade 9 within a cer­tain school year to the num­ber who grad­u­ate four or five years later even if they do so in other boards, ex­clud­ing stu­dents who moved out of On­tario.

Ac­cord­ing to the pub­lic board’s cal­cu­la­tions, the five-year high school grad­u­a­tion rate rose to 81 per cent, up from 80 per cent in 2015 and 79 per cent in 2014. The board does not track how many stu­dents grad­u­ate within four years.

The Catholic board’s five-year high school grad­u­a­tion rate was 89 per cent and the four-year rate was 83.4 per cent in 2016, said Daly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.