Dropout rate declines

Red Deer Catholic school board has scored high marks for reducing its dropout rate. The board earned the distinction of “very high achievement” under the Minister’s Education Leadership Recognition Award program for cutting its dropout rate to 2.4 per cent in 2009-10 from 4.3 in 2008-09.

Red Deer Catholic school board has scored high marks for reducing its dropout rate.

The board earned the distinction of “very high achievement” under the Minister’s Education Leadership Recognition Award program for cutting its dropout rate to 2.4 per cent in 2009-10 from 4.3 in 2008-09.

The provincial dropout rate was 4.8 in 2009-10 and 5.0 in 2008-09.

Superintendent Paulette Hanna said school administrators with Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division don’t give up on students even if students have.

“They track previously enrolled students who aren’t enrolled in school now. They make contact with them and find out what the problem is,” Hanna said on Monday.

If traditional schools weren’t working for them, the division has St. Gabriel Cyber School to teach students via the Internet and John Paul II Catholic Outreach School, she said.

Awards were presented to school boards in Central Alberta at a special ceremony on Monday morning in Wetaskiwin.

Under the annual awards program, school boards are judged based on student achievement and opportunities, safe and caring school environments, parental involvement, school improvement, healthy living, fine arts, and more.

Hanna said her schools also work to identify students from Grade 1 to 12 at risk of failing or not understanding concepts and employ strategies to assist them.

“Kids come to expect it. They know that if they’re not doing well, they’re not going to be allowed to slip through the cracks. There’s going to be interventions for them.”

Red Deer Public Schools also received an award for “significant improvement” in its dropout rate.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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