In the 2015-2016 school year, learning leaders were deployed into 25 high schools to enhance existing school based supports focused on coaching our self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to complete school. The graduation coach initiative is an evidence-based approach proven effective in other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States.
The graduation coach provides targeted supports to Aboriginal students and universal supports to staff to ensure the whole schools is a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe learning environment that allows students to find a sense of competence and achievement in learning. Personalized supports include:
- Developing a learner profile and learning plan
- Planning an academic pathway for high school completion
- Developing student leadership skills
- Easing transitions
- Promoting engagement in learning
- Advocating for and developing advocacy skills
- Fostering positive family-school relationships
- Tutoring and mentorship
- Building the capacity of staff
The graduation coach initiative is positively impacting the success of Aboriginal learners. Data gathered from students and coaches demonstrates increases in sense of belonging, attendance, and school completion. The coaching model will be expanded in the 2016-17 school year with the addition of learning leaders at select junior/middle and elementary schools based on Aboriginal student population.
Graduation coaches at Nose Hill learning on the land with Elder Andrew Bear Robe.