GRAD RATES: Data skewed by certain omissions
Chase Souto is a student at Valleyview secondary.
He has a timetable, a locker, books, teachers and the all-important provincial education number (PEN) required of all who take any courses in the public-education system in the province.
Souto is also a Kamloops Blazer, a reality that brought him to the city from his home in California — and that fact means that, when looking at the statistical data on students who graduate with a Dogwood certificate, he won’t be included.
The hockey player’s situation is just one of many that were reviewed by the Kamloops-Thompson school district as it tracked the graduation rate for the Ministry of Education.
Other students with PENs who were removed from the statistical base included those taking courses who are in Kamloops on Rotary exchanges or as international students.
When students like Souto and the many others who are part of the Kamloops system for a short period of time are removed from the equation, the completion rate looks much better than it would under the system the Ministry of Education has in place, said district principal Bill Hamblett.
Rather than a success rate overall of 77.8 per cent, it’s actually 84.1 per cent.
Breaking it down, the adjusted rate for 86.6 per cent for female students, 81.1 per cent for male students and 75.5 per cent for aboriginal students.
Comparable non-adjusted figures are 80.2 per cent for females, 75.6 per cent for males and 69 per cent for aboriginals.
Making the adjustments is part of a pilot project the ministry has been undertaking the last two years and Hamblett said he suspects a new template will be issued that better reflects the reality.
Other students with PENs who were identified and removed from the base number were students who had moved out of the district, to other provinces or who had died.
For the local school district, 167 students were identified as having conditions that should see them removed from the cohort.