Red Deer Public looking for ideas on boosting grads

What would you do as superintendent of the Red Deer Public School District?

What would you do as superintendent of the Red Deer Public School District?

In an effort to find creative and “outside of the box” ways to increase the number of high school graduates in its schools, Red Deer Public Schools has launched an online engagement tool, “U-Tell-US” on its website (

The district’s current high school completion rate is 69 per cent compared to the provincial average of 72 per cent.

The average is measured by the amount of students who complete high school within three years of starting Grade 10.

“That’s certainly why it’s a priority for us,” said Supt. Piet Langstraat. “That’s not good enough for me. We have to work on improving that.”

Community members are invited to answer the question, “If you were superintendent for a day, what would you do to improve high school completion rates?”

The district hopes to reach a broader audience including those who may have left high school before completing, seniors, business leaders and even those who do not have children.

Langstraat said there are district programs in place at the elementary, middle school and high school levels that have made a difference but have been slow and stubborn.

“I certainly don’t believe we as school administration and trustees have all the answers,” he said. “So we are really looking for creative ideas than what we would traditionally think of. There are all kinds of supports and programs and place in for students but we want to do more.”

At the end of the project, names of the contributors will be placed in a draw for an iPad. The district hopes to use the online engagement tool for future endeavours.

Comments and suggestions will be accepted until Feb. 10. The information will be complied and presented to the board of trustees in March. The board will consider the information for use in its three-year education plan.

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