Grad Rates Improve in the Gulf Islands

The Six-Year Completion Rate for BC residents, often referred to as the “grad rate”, increased and approached the BC average in June 2019. The percentage of Gulf Islands School District students graduating in six years from their grade 8 to 12 program jumped from 74.2% for the previous year to 82.7%, the 4th largest increase in the province. The results were confirmed by BC’s Ministry of Education in December 2019.

"Focused work by teachers and staff have contributed to this accomplishment,” stated Scott Benwell, Gulf Islands’ Superintendent of Schools.

"This is one important indicator of the work we do as a public school system to ensure students have equitable and meaningful options for success when they graduate. Achieving results and improvement like this takes effort from all and it is heartening to see that more of our students walked the stage with dignity, purpose, and options. While this is a positive gain, we know that our continued work on behalf of students will enable us to soon meet and surpass the provincial grad rate of 88.8%. We owe that to our students to provide opportunities for future success in careers, further education, and employment.” - Scott Benwell, Superintendent of Schools

“At GISS (Gulf Islands Secondary School) our work has focused on supporting individual students to take the steps necessary to complete all of their graduation requirements. This has contributed to our improved grad rates.” - Lyall Ruehlen, Principal

An earlier case study by the district found that participation rates in grade 4 and 7 FSA’s (Foundational Skills Assessments) were also positive predictors of school completion. This year the participation rate of students writing the reading, writing and numeracy assessments increased from 47% to 94%, the largest increase in participation across the province of British Columbia. Having broad and balanced information about what our students are able to know and do further enables school district teachers and staff to be strategic about how students can best be supported.

January 20, 2020 11:18 AM