A new Student Success Initiative pilot project will focus on supporting students to help them stay in school and graduate, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
"Finishing school gives students the tools they need to become contributing members of society, whether they are starting a job, learning a trade or continuing on to post-secondary education," Allan said. "This program will encourage and support students on their journey to complete their high-school educations."
Allan said the province wants to build on past successes which have seen Manitoba’s graduation rate increase to 80.9 per cent in 2009 from 72.4 per cent in 2001.
The province is investing $600,000 towards pilot projects in the Winnipeg, Lakeshore and Kelsey school divisions. The program will focus on middle-years and high-school students. Schools in the program come from urban, rural and northern Manitoba and include:
· Winnipeg School Division: Elmwood High School;
· Lakeshore School Division: Ericksdale, Ashern Central and Lundar schools; and
· Kelsey School Division: Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute and École Scott Bateman Middle School.
Student success coaches in these schools will lead teams designed to provide additional academic and social supports to students that result in personalized adult relationships that are crucial to the success of struggling students, the minister said.
"The Winnipeg School Division is pleased to be part of the Student Success Initiative pilot," said Jackie Sneesby, chair of the Winnipeg School Board. "We will watch with great anticipation to see the strategies that are employed in this pilot to help at-risk students stay strongly engaged with their education."
This pilot project is part of the educational component of ALL Aboard, the Manitoba government’s poverty reduction initiative, and will identify students at risk of leaving school. At the middle-years level, the focus will be on student engagement, academic success and helping students with a successful transition into high school. At the high-school level, the focus will be on student engagement, completing credits, graduation and transitioning into employment or post-secondary education.
"We believe this will be another tool that will enable our graduation rate to continue on its upward trend," said Allan.