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February 20, 2013

Peel board graduation rate proof of staff commitment, strength of programs

89 per cent of Peel District School Board high school students graduate within five years

The Peel District School Board’s five-year graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year is 89 per cent. The graduation rate has climbed for the last seven years, from 79 per cent in 2005-06.

“There are a number of factors that contribute to this achievement,” says Tony Pontes, director of education. “It’s not one person or one program. It’s a team effort—the entire school community, staff, students and local organizations working together to support student success. I credit the range of pathway programs we offer, the relationships our staff build with each other, students, parents and the community, and the effective integration of assessment practices outlined in the Ministry of Education’s Growing Success policy document.”

In April 2010, the ministry published Growing Success, a policy document that directs the assessment, evaluation and reporting of student achievement in Ontario schools. Following the principles outlined in Growing Success, Peel board secondary school teachers place an emphasis on assessment for learning by using assessment methods that promote and improve student learning. For example, teachers help students understand what they will be learning, explain what success looks like and help them identify the specific steps or actions that need to be taken to get there.

Notes Pontes, “We’re teaching students how to learn and empowering them to take responsibility for their own learning. This includes ensuring we offer a range of options for students who are pursuing all pathways: apprenticeship, college, independent living, university and workplace. Our programs are designed to build on students’ skills and interests in order to make learning relevant for them—and fun.”

Programs available to Peel board secondary school students include :

• Co-operative Education – a planned work placement in the community that allows students to earn credits by integrating classroom theory with learning experiences at the work site
• Dual-Credit – students can simultaneously earn a college credit and a non-compulsory secondary school credit
• Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) – a school-to-work program that allows students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in grade 11 or 12
• Peel Alternative School – a variety of alternative programs are available, each designed to meet the individual needs of students
• Regional Learning Choices Programs – programs designed for students who have a strong interest in a particular area
• Special Education, including gifted and vocational courses
• Specialist High Skills Major programs – ministry-approved specialized programs that allow students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school

Students and parents can find out about programs options by contacting their school’s guidance department, or by visiting www.peelschools.org/parents/programs.

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Media contact: Tony Pontes, Director of Education, 905-890-1010 ext. 2006
Reference: Alison Farbar, Communications Officer, acting, 905-890-1010 ext. 2626 or alison.farbar@peelsb.com

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