Catholic District School Board Progress Report and Graduation Rates

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The Ministry of Education has recently released the 2019-2020 provincial graduation rates. The data collected by the Ministry is based on the cohort of students who began grade 9 four years prior, in 2015-16. Annually, the Ministry of Education provides the Board with graduation rates based on a four and five-year formula.

CDSBEO Student Success initiatives have a significant impact on graduation rates. Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Natalie Cameron, presented information on some of the successful practices which are helping CDSBEO students achieve a successful graduation outcome. This includes programs which meet the diverse needs of students such as OYAP, Virtual Reality career opportunities and myBlueprint. These programs provide both the organization and the window for students to reach their full potential and to dream big for the future.

“Despite the pandemic and the difficulties experienced by our students, our student achievement levels continue to thrive. Each year, the ministry reports on school board progress across ten key indicators. The indicators are found through EQAO testing results, grade 10 literacy test results, as well as through credit accumulation data for secondary students and four and five-year graduation rates,” began Superintendent Cameron.

The CDSBEO currently sits above provincial averages in five of six key indicators, with an 86.8% four-year graduation rate (provincial 82.2%), and an 89.7% five-year graduation rate (province 88.1%).

“The board works very hard to track and support students who are struggling with their academic success. We offer activities, experiential learning opportunities, creative learning strategies, and specialized programs. The board has also run a very successful virtual reality program for several years. Every secondary school has been provided with a virtual reality kit which allows students to learn and experience various tasks such as heavy equipment operation, welding, science, and robotics through simulation. The tool allows students the opportunity to have immersive, hands-on career learning opportunities.”

Superintendent Cameron highlighted the use of the myBlueprint tool to help students understand their goals, understand their interests and learning styles, and plot possible career paths beyond secondary school. Additionally, student learning and career development is enhanced through Specialist High Skills Major, OYAP and cooperative education programs, as well as through the community partners who support these programs through hands-on learning experiences and job placements. All of these programs contribute to supporting a successful graduation outcome for CDSBEO learners.

“A few other program highlights include some of our Continuing Education students. It is worth noting that the CDSBEO has granted 75 secondary school diplomas, 786 eLearning credits, and 366 Personal Support Worker certifications over the past four years,” explained Superintendent Cameron.

“This information has reinforced that education has changed on so many fronts. There are so many advantages to these excellent programs that offer learning opportunities for all types of students and support their success. I think that it is so amazing to be able to offer these options to students who learn through more hands-on experiences,” concluded Trustee Eamer.

“These learning tools definitely ensure that our students will succeed. We are truly blessed to see the variety of programs, and how well, despite the pandemic, the students are still achieving their goals. Thank you very much for this informative presentation,” concluded Vice-Chair Wilson.

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