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Press Release: SD 48 looks to build on Aboriginal student success

The School District 48 along with the Squamish and Ll’wat Nations will be meeting to finalize a five year Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. Below is the Press Release from the Ministry of Transportation. We at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre are very proud to be a part of this historical event.

SD 48 looks to build on Aboriginal student success

WHISTLER – With the fastest growing Aboriginal student graduation rate in the province, there was much to celebrate as the Sea to Sky School District signed its second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. These five-year agreements are a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education to work together to support Aboriginal learners.

The signing will take place at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, designed to evoke the longhouses of the Squamish people and the Istken (traditional earthen pit house) of the Lil’wat people on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014. After sharing a meal, guests will enjoy performances by the Squamish Nation Dance Group and the St’át’yemc Dance Group and receive gifts to mark the occasion.

Much progress has been made since the first Agreement was signed. The six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students in the district has risen to 72.8 per cent from 35.4 per cent five years ago. There are homework and culture clubs for Aboriginal students, each Nation hosts special graduation ceremonies, the St’át’yemcets Language program for K-4 is now being offered and the Skwxwú7mesh language K-12 Integrated Resource Package (IRP) is under-development. Each school has a teacher representative on the Shared Learnings Committee and every School Improvement Plan incorporates Enhancement Agreement goals.

Sea to Sky School District has a committed Aboriginal Education Committee and dedicated political Aboriginal Council to guide the work for approximately 610 Aboriginal students of the 4,300 total number of students, or 14 per cent. (Based on 2012-13 statistics).

Quotes:

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education

“Successes, like the remarkable progress being made in the Sea to Sky district, are proving that these agreements are working to support Aboriginal student success and to ensure that these students feel valued members of every classroom”

Rick Price, Sea to Sky board chair

“I want to thank all of those who have brought us to this day of celebration. The success of Aboriginal students in the district is a significant tribute to their hard work. It also reflects excellent collaboration and effort on the part of our educators and local Aboriginal communities.”

Quick Facts:

• The Sea to Sky school district is located on the traditional territory of the N’Quatqua, Lil’wat and Squamish Nations.
• More Aboriginal students in B.C. are completing high school than ever before as the six-year completion rate has climbed by almost 30 per cent (or 13.5 percentage points) from 45.9 per cent in 2002-03 to 59.4 per cent in 2012-13.
• Provincial funding for Aboriginal education in 2012-13 was $63 million (through a supplement of $1,160 per student).

Learn More:
Sea to Sky School District: http:sd48seatosky.org/
Aboriginal education: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed
BC’s Education Plan: WWW.BCEDPLAN.CA

Contact: Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963

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