Chilliwack school trustees must keep eye on what really matters

Chilliwack school trustees must keep eye on what really matters

Chilliwack school district needs to build on its success improving student achievement

Amid the accusations, acrimony and animosity that’s becoming the norm at Chilliwack school board meetings, there is good news coming out of the school district.

This week the district released numbers showing that high school completion rates continue to climb.

Over the past two decades, the number of students who have graduated has climbed 13 per cent.

True, 18 per cent are still leaving school without their Dogwood diploma, but the gap continues to close.

Significantly, an area showing the best improvement is the success of Indigenous students in the district, where completion rates are now 10 per cent higher than the provincial average.

The improvement comes at a challenging time for the district. Growing enrolment and crowded classrooms have put strains on our education system.

But here, too, we are seeing promise.

Construction of a new school in the city’s south end will help ease overcrowding and the use of portables.

And news that the former UFV property off Airport Road will become a new arts-orientated school for students in the upper grades shows what innovation and collaboration can accomplish.

(Particularly gratifying is the fact the UFV theatre has avoided a final curtain call and will continue to support student learning.)

Success doesn’t happen by chance, and acting superintendent Rohan Arul-pragasam was quick to point to a “culture of collaboration” aimed at student success. “…Our district is full of unsung heroes who do the work day in and day out (to help these kids),” Arul-pragasam told The Progress.

That passion was evident during a presentation at the last school board meeting about the level of effort staff go to to support students, particularly those at risk of falling through the cracks.

These stories are a reminder of what the school board’s primary focus must be: Student achievement.

READ MORE: Chilliwack School District graduating more students than ever before

READ MORE: Chilliwack school board plans for an integrated arts school for grades 8-12 at old UFV location

READ More: Province pledges nearly $49 million for new Chilliwack school

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford will include shared kitchen space that can be accessed by small and medium-sized businesses. (Stock photo by Robyn Wright from Pixabay)
Almost $2M to support new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford

Project being developed by District of Mission and Mission Community Skills Centre

Lucas Frost at the trailhead of Teapot Hill. (Lucas Frost)
Hiking Teapot Hill for organization that helps homeless youth in Chilliwack

Lucas Frost hopes his hiking fundraiser for Cyrus Centre will help get some kids off the street

Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked at The Book Man, poses for a photo on Sept. 7, 2017. He died on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Famous Chilliwack bookstore cat, Nietzsche, dies

‘Every single thing you could want in a cat, Nietzsche embodied,’ says Amber Price

Trustees and staff at the Chilliwack School District congratulate Carin Bondar, middle row at right, after her oath of office meeting on Feb. 23, 2021. (Screenshot)
Chilliwack’s newest school trustee takes oath of office

Carin Bondar won byelection on Feb. 13, filling seat left empty by Coulter

Mark Strahl, MP of Chilliwack-Hope in the House of Commons, Oct. 22, 2020. (Christian Diotte/House of Commons photo)
Chilliwack-Hope MP has new role in Parliament

Strahl elected vice chair of a special committee of the House on Canada-U.S. economic relations

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Head of internal medicine at Chilliwack General Hospital Dr. Shari Sajjadi talks about the positive feedback hospital staff have received over this last year in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Dr. Shari Sajjadi says a simple ‘thank you’ helps keep up spirits of healthcare workers

‘We are so thankful for the positive feedback we are getting from our patients’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

Most Read