Success for FNMI Students: Graduation Coach Initiative
A couple of weekends ago I gave my Report Back to the Community to Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples during which I spoke of the wonderful success we have been having at ECSD with improving our 3 year graduation rate for our First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students using an innovative model called the “Graduation Coach Initiative”. I shared with the congregation information from our district website: “since its implementation in 2009, the FNMI Graduation Coach Initiative at St. Joseph High School has increased the three-year graduation rate of FNMI students from 14.9% to 60.4% by supporting the transition of students from junior high and retaining students as they progress through high school…the role of the graduation coach is to provide mentoring and guidance to FNMI students to ensure they are provided with a nurturing and safe environment that supports them as they find a sense of competence and achievement”. I received great applause from the congregation showing a great desire for their children to succeed in our school system and graduate with a high school diploma. After mass, a young man approached me to say that he was a teacher from Saskatchewan, visiting our district to learn more about how we implement the Graduation Coach Model so that he could bring this model back to his district. We can be very proud of the work that our district has been doing with our FNMI students and even see ourselves as leaders in this area. This truly is something to celebrate!
The ECSD website goes on to say that graduation coaches are available in many of our high schools including Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop O’Leary, and St. Francis Xavier as well as St. Joe’s.
For more information about this program go to (https://www.ecsd.net/Programs/Overview/AboriginalLearning/Pages/Graduation-Coach-Initiative.aspx). For a full list of supports that we offer our FNMI students go to https://www.ecsd.net/Programs/Overview/AboriginalLearning/Pages/Aboriginal-Learning.aspx