After reading the Jan. 7 editorial on the Sooke School District graduation rates, I looked at the ministry’s statistics. It was immediately obvious a certain figure was cherry picked.
While it is true that the district’s first time graduation rate is 68 per cent, the article failed to mention that Belmont and Edward Milne secondaries have graduation rates of 84 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively, for first time Grade 12 students. Both of these high schools perform above the provincial average of 80 per cent.
The reason for a lower district average is due to a lower success rate in two small alternative schools. These two options offer special programs to at-risk youth who may possibly fall through the cracks. In many districts or private schools, these students would not be welcomed. In the Sooke district, we welcome all learners.
As for the new Belmont and Royal Bay, top quality education will be delivered despite the doubt raised in this editorial.
Brian Willing, Belmont science teacher