Mental Health Week- May 6-12

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Western School Division's graduation rate data is looking at an increase this year, and the division is excited to see it.

"A few years ago the province changed the way that they demonstrate the grad rate and that has created a lot of confusion around the province," says WSD Superintendent Stephen Ross.

The algorithm they use generates different numbers every year so Western also does their own tracking within the division to make sure they the most accurage data.

"It's just interesting when you look at the provincial grad rate data after they run an algorithm through it, that those numbers change year after year. So we've shared that concern with the province. We think it has to do with sample size on the algorithm that they use," he explains.

The division usually has a higher grad rate than divisions around the province, and work hard to keep those number up.

"Kids have done very well over time and we have a long track-record of that. That's in our continuous improvement plan, and other things that demonstrate that our kids do well when they're here.

After looking at their credit attainment data, WSD has noticed that passing core subjects early on are essential in graduation within four years in high school.

Ross adds, "there is a really strong correlation, not just for us but across the province, with kids success in their first attempt at grade nine math or ELA, and their ability to graduate on time."

He says, the ultimate goal in the end isn't about numbers, and that it's not always bad if students take more than four years to receive their diploma.

"The goal isn't to rush them through, the goal is to get them through well-set so they can be successful when they leave." 

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