Both of Prince Albert’s school boards have announced their graduation rates for the last school year, and the news is mainly positive.
Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division reports that 69.4 per cent of their students due to graduate in 2016-2017 actually did so. That’s an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the year before.
“It’s nice to see the trend moving as it is,” said superintendent of schools Randy Emmerson.
For Prince Albert Catholic School Division, the on-time graduation rate was 74 per cent.
“We are seeing some really great things happening,” said P.A. Catholic director of education Lorel Trumier.
The divisions break down their data into separate rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Trumier said her division is graduating 53 per cent of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students on time, a slight increase from the year before.
Ninety-four per cent of non-Indigenous students graduated in 2016-17 at P.A. Catholic, up three per cent from 2015-16.
Emmerson reported a more than five-point jump in the on-time Indigenous graduation rate at Saskatchewan Rivers. He called it “remarkable.” That brings the public division’s rate up to 52.5 per cent, more or less even with P.A. Catholic.
But First Nations, Métis and Inuit students still continue to lag behind their non-Indigenous peers. At Saskatchewan Rivers, 89.3 per cent of non-Indigenous students graduated on time. That’s a 27-point gap. In the Catholic division, the lag is more than 30 points.
Emmerson said the division won’t be satisfied until that gap is closed.
For more on this story, including comparisons with provincial averages, please see the Sept. 23 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.