NESD, province faces Grade 3 reading level drop

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A total of 70 per cent of Grade 3 students in the North East School Division are reading at or above the reading level benchmark for the grade, a decrease of 7.7 per cent from 2019.

While still above the provincial average, it does mirror a drop.

For the survey, the NESD examined 326 total students with 46 identifying themselves as First Nation, Métis or Indigenous (FNMI).

A total of 55.3 per cent of self-identified FNMI students are reading at or above, compared to 72.3 per cent of non-FNMI students.

Marla Walton, NESD’s board chair, said the division noted the drop will be keeping a close look at the numbers.

“The individual schools know where their reading levels are at as well and where extra time and effort needs to be placed,” Walton said.

“This year we are providing some additional (financial) supports in the schools to help bring up the Grade 3 reading level.”

Credit attainment rates was another piece of data observed by the board during the September meeting. Credit attainment can be viewed as a leading indicator or predictor of future grad rates.

In the 2020-21 school year, the NESD had 69.1 per cent of Grade 10-12 students attain eight or more credits, compared to 58.1 per cent throughout the province.

Among those in the province were 26.7 per cent of FNMI students who attained the eight or more credits for the year and 70.2 per cent of non-FNMI students. In the NESD, the rates were higher for both groups with 42.4 per cent of FNMI students attaining the credit amount and 74.7 non-FNMI students

While higher than the provincial average, the NESD’s numbers are a drop from the 2019-20 year which had 75.8 per cent of Grade 10-12 students in the division attain eight or more credits. Among them were 51.7 per cent of FNMI students and 80.5 per cent of non-FNMI students.

Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal

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