Beginning in 2014 Dryden High School is piloting a new program for First Nations, Metis & Inuit (FNMI) students. FNMI is a program which provides mentorship, individual and group support for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students transitioning to and attending High School. It is the first program of its kind in Ontario.
 
A special coach-educator has been hired to assist in developing and implementing programs, services and other supports to meet the unique needs of FNMI students and their families, with a focus on student success and graduation.
 
The “coach” collaborates with school staff, parents, FNMI officials and outside agencies to foster success for students.
 
As a member of the school team, the “Coach” plays a crucial role in assisting all staff to improve achievement and graduation rates for FNMI students attending Dryden High School.
 
 
Scott Urquhart and Jennifer McMaster 
 
This is the nub of the FNMI program explained to Dryden Rotarians by the DHS Vice-Principal Jennifer McMaster, and Scott Urquhart, Student Success Leader.
 
The KPDSB had identified that the graduation rate among FNMI students is about 20 % less than the average. This is consistent with data from Alberta. DHS used as its model the FNMI program created at the Edmonton Catholic District School Board.
 
At present DHS has about 20 - 25 % who self-identify as First Nation, Metis, or Inuit students. This is expected to grow to 50% in the near future.
 
This summer Kieran McMonagle has been hired as the Graduation coach.  She will identify FNMI students at risk of dropping out of school and work with them and their families to ensure they stay in school.
 
The graduation coach monitors absences, late slips, behaviour referrals, class performance and the number of graduation criteria met, as well as the participation of the student in school events.
 
A special room has been created for Kieran where students can come for help, to talk, do homework, or just to feel that they are in a safe environment.
 
McMonagle will also provide transition support for students coming into high school or help with post-secondary education and career planning. One of her goals is to keep engaged with parents...and ensure there are appropriate cultural activities.
 
For more information on this program see
 
 
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