Central Okanagan Public Schools Recognized Nationally for Drastically Reducing Indigenous Student Dropout Rates
The EdCan Network to research how Mount Boucherie Secondary School’s Academy of Indigenous Studies continues to significantly raise graduation rates.
The EdCan Network is pleased to announce that the Academy of Indigenous Studies has been selected to participate in the 2017 Indigenous ‘Innovation that Sticks’ Dropout Prevention Research Program. As part of this initiative, a researcher from the EdCan Network visited West Kelowna, B.C. to explore how this innovative team of educators from Mount Boucherie Secondary School have succeeded in raising the high school graduation rate for Indigenous students from 55% in 2011 to 78% in 2017. This is the highest 6-year Indigenous completion rate in the province, and the program is expanding rapidly to reach the district’s over 2200 Indigenous learners.
Teachers of the program have built a ‘learning community’ that uses team teaching, self-directed professional learning, and shared goal setting to meet each student’s unique needs and encourage cultural pride. Classes are offered to students in grades 10-12 in Indigenous history, literature, leadership, culture, art and Okanagan language, which incorporate the knowledge of Elders and community members of Westbank First Nation. This ‘learning community’ convenes regularly to discuss student progress, proactively address behavioural challenges, and plan land-based outings to engage students in traditional Okanagan ceremonies.
Central Okanagan Public Schools received a $5,000 contribution on Monday, October 30th courtesy of initiative sponsor State Farm Canada to grow its activities and extend its impact. Program leaders shared their implementation process and lessons learned with an EdCan Network researcher throughout that week, who will produce a case study report that will provide practical guidelines for educators tasked with improving Indigenous student outcomes in their schools.
For more details about this program, please visit: