Graduation rates have reached new highs in School District 73.
During the 2018-2019 school year, 88.3 per cent of students completed high school within six years, according to statistics released by the school district.
That number is up nearly five per cent over the 83.7 per cent rate for the 2017-2018 school year, which had dropped from 85.3 per cent in 2016-2017.
SD73’s six-year completion rate jumped from 78.4 per cent in 2012-2013 to about 82 per cent in each of the next three school years before hitting the 85 per cent mark.
The numbers are also new highs for Indigenous students, with 84.1 per cent graduating high school within six years in 2018-2019, increasing six per cent from 78.2 per cent in 2017-2018.
The six-year completion rate for Indigenous students has steadily risen, from 66.7 in 2012-2013 to 78.5 in 2016-2017.
The graduation rate is even higher when isolating resident students — which includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, but excludes international students, who, according to the school district, move out of the district area prior to graduating.
The six-year completion rate for resident students in SD73 was 92.5 per cent in 2018-2019, up nearly five per cent from 87.9 per cent the year before, which dipped from the six-year rate of 90.5 per cent in 2016-2017.
The resident rate in the four years previous rose from 80.3 per cent in 2012-2013 to 86.1 in the 2015-2016 school year.
The numbers mean SD73 has exceeded its current six-year completion rate goal of 85 per cent for all Students and 90 per cent for resident students.
Progress continues to be made on having the Indigenous student completion rate on par with all students, which is a priority for SD73.
The six-year completion rate is the proportion of students who graduate with a B.C. certificate of graduation or a B.C. adult graduation diploma within six years from the first time they enrol in Grade 8, adjusted for migration in and out of British Columbia.
Province foots bill for new school bus
School District 73 is receiving a new bus from the province after one in its fleet experienced engine failure.
The bus, which has racked up 365,898 kilometres and was scheduled to be replaced in 2020-2021, broke down while in use in September.
Given the high cost of repair — $48,914 in parts alone — SD73 requested a replacement bus from the Ministry of Education at a cost of $138,609.
The ministry approved the purchase, adding the replacement bus to the annual programs funding agreement.