Qualicum School District 69 news: grad guidelines in the spotlight

New guidelines from the province are strict but SD 69 is in compliance

The Parksville Qualicum Beach School District is already in compliance with strict new guidelines governing graduation and what are called school-leaving certificates, superintendent Rollie Koop told the board of trustees during its regular meeting last Tuesday.

Citing concerns over Aboriginal student graduation rates province-wide, the Ministry of Education announced in early February the reform of its Evergreen Certificate, a “Student Credential Order” granted to students who complete schooling but do not meet the requirements for a Dogwood graduation diploma.

Koop said he tasked assistant superintendent Gillian Wilson, First Nations principal Rosie McLeod-Shannon and Learning Services principal Carrie Steele with conducting a five-year review of School District 69’s history of granting Evergreen certificates.

“I wanted to make sure I had a clearer understanding of where we were, as a district, given those new requirements,” said Koop. “I’m pleased to say that all of the students that we had granted the Evergreen Certificate to in the last five years are in compliance with the new requirements.”

To be eligible for an Evergreen Certificate in the future, students must be a) designated as “special needs”; b) be on an individual education program (IEP; and/or c) be part of a program that does not lead to a Dogwood Diploma.

The guidelines were formulated in meetings between Education Minister Mike Bernier, the B.C. School Trustees Association (BCSTA) and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC).

“It is our hope that these changes will help to increase Aboriginal student graduation rates, which have already shown considerable improvement in the past 15 years,” BCSTA president Teresa Rezanoff said in a Feb. 5 release that announced the reforms.

SD69 board chair Eve Flynn told The NEWS that the local school district’s Aboriginal graduation rates currently exceed the provincial average, but that it was important for the district to conduct a review of its procedures.

“I think the concern of FNESC was that, if Aboriginal students are being given (the Evergreen) in lieu of a diploma, that is not acceptable,” Flynn said. “I think they’ll be looking to see if there is a preponderance of Evergreen Certificates going to Aboriginal students and, if so, why?”

The five-year retrospective proved that was not the case in the local district, Koop said, either for Aboriginal students or others in the general population outside the written guidelines.

“There are a number of reasons why that position was being advocated,” Koop told the board last week. “In general terms, I think there was a concern that, rather than working hard for the success of all students, that sometimes we offered a path of less resistance.”

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Qualicum Beach moves on grant for Eaglecrest roundabout

Council votes unanimously to have staff push for application

Dying motorcyclist from Coombs gets last-ride tribute

Friends grant Corinna Pitney’s wish ‘to hear bikes roar, to see leather and chrome’

Parksville author shares journey on famed 800 km trail

Books, movie inspire Roxey Edwards to walk Camino de Santiago, write book

Advance voting numbers in for Qualicum Beach, Parksville, RDN

More people vote ahead of time than in previous election

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Most Read