Student graduation rates in the Chilliwack School District were up in 2017/18, based on a year-end report from the Ministry of Education. Overall District graduation rates have increased 4% (from 78% to 82%) over the last six1 years and 13% over the last twenty-one years (from 69% to 82%). Graduation rates for Aboriginal students have increased even more substantially, by 22% over the last six years and 24% over the last twenty-one. The Chilliwack School District’s Aboriginal student six-year completion rates are 10% higher than the province wide average for the 2017/18 school year.
The District is located within S’olh Temexw, the traditional territory of the Stó:lō people and 2,144 of our 14,000 students identify as aboriginal.
The results include students receiving the provincial standard Dogwood Diploma (the B.C. Certificate of Graduation), which requires 80 credits in specific subject areas, and the Adult Dogwood Diploma granted to mature students in the Chilliwack School District.
Student graduation rates are one of the Ministry of Education’s key measures of educational success. The District is extremely proud of this significant accomplishment and particularly the improvement for Aboriginal students whose results are now within 3% of all students after lagging by 21% only six years ago in 2012/2013. The District aims to close this gap in coming years.
This improvement in student success is a direct result of a strategic focus by everyone in our school community including students, parents, teachers, district office staff, support staff, community partners and our Board of Education, which developed both a vision and a strategic plan, setting the stage for improved student outcomes and success.
We believe our Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement and the Local Education Agreements with local First Nations and the Aboriginal community have paved the way for the success of our Aboriginal students. These agreements have facilitated timely support and interventions for Aboriginal students around our identified goals in many key areas, including graduation rates. There are still challenges to overcome but our efforts are shared, personalized to each student and based on sound data. Student success is a shared responsibility of the student, parent/guardian, family, community, school and district that goes far beyond the classroom.
Cultural content has become more authentic, specific and purposeful, and has increased engagement for all students. We have formed new partnerships to ensure a strong net of support around our students and families. The Enhancement Agreement has improved the opportunity for dialogue, understanding and engagement between parents, children and the school system.