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This week, the Ministry of Education released the annual five-year cohort graduation rate. The OCDSB’s commitment to student success through an improved graduation rate can be seen in our results. The OCDSB 4-year and 5-year cohort rates for 2013-2014 are 79% and 86%, up from conservative estimates of 72% and 78% the previous year and compared to the provincial rates of 76% and 84%.
This means we are on track to meet our goal of a 90% graduation rate by the 2020 school year. As a district we have put great focus on instructional practice, assessment and evaluation in our classrooms contributing to student learning and well-being. Over the past two years, we have also been working to improve measures for calculating graduation rates to ensure that those measures value all students who successfully complete a program designed for their particular pathway whether it be community living, workplace, apprenticeship, college or university. This measure is known as the OCDSB Annual Certification Rate.
In addition, we have put in place a practice of contacting students who left the system in an effort to re-engage them with the goal of having more students achieve the graduation diploma. We have had great success with this new initiative. In the 2014, 1029 students were contacted with 51.5% of those students re-engaged in schools.
This week, we shared some information with you regarding the possibility of labour disruption in our secondary schools. Effective April 19, 2015, our secondary school teachers and secondary school occasional teachers, who are represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), will be in a legal strike position. Strike action can take a number of forms, such as work to rule, partial withdrawal of service, rotating strikes, or full withdrawal of service. However, the union must provide 5 days’ notice prior to commencing any type of action. At this time we do not know if or when there will be any work disruptions.
Understandably, students in Grade 12 and their parents will have questions if our schools are faced with a significant disruption. We anticipate that mid-term grades for all secondary students will be submitted prior to any labour action. These grades will be provided to universities and colleges through OUAC and OCAS as usual. We have also been in contact with the Ministry of Education regarding this situation and to discuss provisions to ensure that in the event of labour disruption, our students are not penalized in their application to university or college programs. We will continue to advocate in this regard. We are committed to providing information as it becomes available on the status of negotiations and potential work disruptions.
We will post regular updates to our website and our social media accounts – Twitter/Facebook.
We remain committed to negotiating in good faith in order to reach fair and fully funded collective agreements and to avoid any disruption to student learning.