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DSB ONE has some of the lowest graduation rates in the province – now they are facing the issue head on.

The school board was presented with an extensive report on graduation rates that drew many conclusions as to why our area’s graduation rates are  32%
under the provincial average.

Lack of credits, insufficient volunteer hours, mental health issues, poor attendance and disengagement are some of what the report identified as barriers between students and their diploma.

It did praise the board for their success initiatives like the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship, Co-operative Education, College Link, transitions, and Specialist High Skills Majors programs.

The report helped the board see what the ministry’s report left out of the equation.

“It certainly gives a lot of enlightenment as to what the Ministry is reporting in the broad brush approach that it is,” said chairman Doug Shearer. ” For example, it’s not  fair for the Ministry to fail to acknowledge students who they consider ‘early exits’, when in fact they’ve received a certificate and gone on into the trades, or elsewhere.”

Some board members want to learn from other school boards that are actively making improvements to help recognize our boards strengths and weaknesses based on others’ success.

There are already some immediate action plans in place to begin helping pupils. Monthly reports to track at-risk students, standardized assessments for identification of Special Education Students, more chances for recovery/rescue credits through Special Education courses are just a few of the new strategies.

The board says they will remain proactive in seeking new ways to help students receive their diplomas.