The six-year graduation rate for aboriginal students, released by the Ministry of Education, has reached an all-time high in Quesnel.
Tony Goulet, the Chair of Quesnel’s Board of Education, says they are extremely proud that they have now reached 80 percent.
“Over the last number of years we’ve been climbing slowly. We were at 65.5 and now we’re at 80 so we’re trying to always improve, and we will always improve on the aboriginal grades. We always look at this and say it’s for all students as well, we hope to have all students at a high level of graduation and their completion rate.”
The 6-year graduation rates for all students is at 81 percent.
Goulet says improving aboriginal grad rates has been a Board goal for the past 10 years.
“We’re always trying to look for ways to achieve that, we’re always looking at how we adapt to our aboriginal students and our aboriginal learning.”
Goulet says they have a great relationship with the aboriginal communities in the area, something he says goes a long way in achieving these rates.
“I know there plans before COVID for schools to do aboriginal gatherings right at the school involving the parents and the community, and say this is what is happening in the school, and do an outdoor event or in the gym but that has been put on hold. It shows that the schools are open to the aboriginal community. As people know with residential schools there is some history and stuff, but we’re trying to say we’re open and we want to work with you as a community.”
The Quesnel School District enrolls 894 students of aboriginal ancestry.
Currently, 30 percent of the district’s students are First Nations, Non-Status, Metis, or Inuit.