Wolf Creek division tackles low aboriginal grad rates

Fewer than one in seven aboriginal students who entered Grade 10 in the Wolf Creek School Division in 2009 graduated three years later, a shockingly low rate that leaves the division looking way up at the already low provincewide 44 per cent completion rate.

Fewer than one in seven aboriginal students who entered Grade 10 in the Wolf Creek School Division in 2009 graduated three years later, a shockingly low rate that leaves the division looking way up at the already low provincewide 44 per cent completion rate.

School divisions across the province recently compiled their Annual Education Results Reports (AERR), displaying data from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. The data shows things like dropout, high school completion, and post-secondary transition rates for entire division populations and First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students.

While Central Alberta jurisdictions such as Wild Rose School Division and Chinook’s Edge School Division show well when it comes to FNMI metrics, Wolf Creek’s marks based on 2011-12 data fall well below provincial averages.

The high school completion rate (within three years) fell 30 per cent below the provincial average to 13.7 per cent, the dropout rate was 10.6 per cent, and the post-secondary transition rate of 21 per cent was significantly lower than the provincial average.

In the Ponoka area, over one-quarter of students in Wolf Creek schools are aboriginal, while other FNMI students are spread throughout the division. Superintendent Larry Jacobs said the division has to “build a bridge” between cultures to engender greater success.

“It’s incumbent on jurisdictions like mine that border up against a First Nations area, the Hobbema reserves, to tackle this concern,” said Jacobs.

He said the district is putting together a literacy plan for all at-risk learners that will not only improve reading and writing, but students’ ability to solve complex math and science problems and understand technology at a high level.

And Jacobs said the division will look to hire someone who can act as a liaison with FNMI students, communities, and staff to make sure school curricula works in a First Nations cultural context as well.

Wild Rose’s FNMI education statistics, on the other hand, showed achievement nearly equal to the larger school population.

The FNMI completion rate of 72.7 per cent was well above the provincial average, and dropout and transition rates showed improvement and were above average as well.

In Chinook’s Edge, the high school completion rate was 69.7 per cent for FNMI students, while the entire school population achieved a mark of 78.2 per cent. The latter figure represents a significant accomplishment for the division, said associate superintendent Ray Hoppins.

“We’re very proud that we’re at an all-time high. We’re having students complete high school to a greater extent than ever before,” said Hoppins.

While the results show a solid performance for the division across many metrics, the transition rate — the percentage of students who have enrolled in post-secondary education six years after entering Grade 10 — of 53.7 per cent remains below the provincial average.

Hoppins said current dual credit opportunities with Olds College and future opportunities with Red Deer College should improve that figure.

Clearview School Division had too few FNMI students in the division for statistics to be compiled for the 2011-12 school year. For its entire population, the results were very positive.

Clearview’s dropout rate of 2.9 per cent is below the Alberta average, while its high school completion rate was 10th best in the province at 81.6 per cent, and its transition rate registered at 63.4 per cent.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Contributed image)
Wolf Creek Public Schools will not participate in curriculum pilot

Central Alberta school jurisdiction joins others across Alberta

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
Most unvaccinated Canadians uncomfortable with AstraZeneca vaccine: survey

Just 41 per cent of Canadians who aren’t vaccinated, but intend to… Continue reading

Advocate file photo
Red Deer County approves winery in central Alberta

Winery proposed for rural property northwest of Innisfail

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. A second COVID-19 vaccine is being investigated for possible links to blood clots, though the syndrome appears to be extremely rare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rogelio V. Solis
Canada receives report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

OTTAWA — A Quebec woman is the first in Canada to develop… Continue reading

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez take a selfie as they arrive at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2020. VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will showcase Lopez. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Selena Gomez and J.Lo headline vax concert for poor nations

NEW YORK — Backed by an international concert hosted by Selena Gomez… Continue reading

A vial of the vaccine by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Federal health officials in the U.S. said early Tuesday they were urging a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six serious blood clots, and officials in Washington state and around the country quickly complied. (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media)
How J&J and AstraZeneca differ from the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has hit a stumbling block in… Continue reading

An emergency response worker carries an air monitoring device at the site of a crude oil spill at a Trans Mountain Pipeline pump station in Abbotsford, on Sunday, June 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Failed fitting caused 190,000-litre spill at Trans Mountain site in B.C.: TSB

VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board report says the failure of a… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

OTTAWA — Indigenous leaders and legal experts are pushing federal lawmakers to… Continue reading

Visitors to a roadside memorial pay their respects in Portapique, N.S., on Friday, April 24, 2020. The Canadian Red Cross confirmed today it has collected $6.2 million in donations to help the families in rural Nova Scotia affected by the mass shooting last spring that claimed 22 lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Red Cross collects $6.2 million for families affected by Nova Scotia mass shooting

HALIFAX — Canadians and people from around the world donated $6.2 million… Continue reading

Hindu devotees wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus stand in a queue to offer prayers inside a temple dedicated to goddess Kali in Jammu, India, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. New infections have surged in the past month and India has now reported over 13.6 million cases — pushing its toll past Brazil, and making it second only to the United States. In the past 24 hours, over 160,000 new infections have been detected and experts fear that the worst is yet to come. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Johnson & Johnson delays shot rollout in Europe

BERLIN — Johnson & Johnson says it is delaying the rollout of… Continue reading

Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers wait in line to sign up for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine site, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Sunset Park neighborhood of New York. The mobile vaccination effort includes two buses equipped with four to six vaccinators each, delivering the COVID-19 vaccine directly to communities most in need. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose… Continue reading

FILE-Team Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson fights for control of the puck with U.S.A.’s Hayley Scamurra during third period of Women’s Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, hopes a Rivalry Series against the United States can happen this winter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Dwyer
Canadian women’s hockey team to open selection camp in Nova Scotia

Six goaltenders, 15 defenders and 26 forwards will vie for spots on Canada’s 23-player roster

Most Read