Nothing earth-shattering in the piece, but it's been a while since we focused on these fifth-year students. The piece doesn't include any current stats for local boards (which a good board demographer does track), but an average of 15-20 per cent of Grade 12 students return for a fifth year of high school.
As the piece points out, the reasons are extremely varied and include:
- Taking additional credits -- either because they weren't offered during the students' first four years or because the students want to take elective courses they couldn't or wouldn't squeeze into their schedule in prior years
- Upgrading grades on previously taken credits
- Related to the first, some schools are unable to offer a full slate of senior credits and must offer these credits every other year to net a critical mass of students
- Some parents and students feel they're just not ready for work/college/university after four years at the age of 17 and 18.
The Free Press asked London high school students: Do you plan to spend an extra year in high school?This fall marks the 10th cohort of students entering a four-year high school curriculum -- the first was the 1999-2000 cohort whose four-year grads left high school in June 2003. I'd love to write this piece again in 10 years and see how the stats look at that point in time (note to self-- remember to do this).
"It all depends. I'm hoping just the four (years), but it all depends on if I can keep to the plan."
-- Kyle Rubini, 15, Grade 10
"I'm probably going to do a victory lap to do better on courses I didn't do so well on."
-- Tara Langdale, 14, Grade 10
"I think I'll be staying five years to . . . redo some classes or get a chance to get classes in because you only get three elective courses (a year)."
-- Taylor Scott, 15, Grade 10
"I probably won't do a fifth year. I'll just get the credits done and get out. I'll work on getting a job and then maybe post-secondary."Lucas Mattatall, 16, Grade 12.
"I'm going (back) to get more science and biology because I want to be a CSI."
-- Micheal Alden, 16, Grade 11
"I want to be an architect so I want to go back. I want extra credits in design and art."
-- Danielle Vanhooren, 14, Grade 9