Regina Public Schools says its graduation rates are on the rise and the highest increase is among Indigenous students.

The school district announced Tuesday night its overall graduation rate increased five percentage points in the last school year, from 74 per cent in 2015-2016 to 79 per cent in 2016-2017.

Graduation rates for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students jumped by 11 percentage points, from 42 per cent in 2015-2016 to 53 per cent in 2016-2017.

The results put their graduation rate for Indigenous students higher than the provincial rate, which also increased in the same period from 41.9 per cent to 43.2.

Indigenous rates still lag

The rate remains significantly lower than those for non-Indigenous students at Regina's public schools.

Their graduation rate jumped by four percentage points, from 81 per cent in 2015-2016 to 85 per cent in 2016-2017. The overall provincial graduation rate was 76.5 per cent in 2016-2017.

All of the aforementioned rates are for students who graduated within the standard three-year period from Grade 10 to 12.

Regina Public Schools director of education Greg Enion said the results demonstrated that the school district's focus on a "culture of achievement" was helping more students graduate.

Long way to go, says director of education

"Clearly, we have a long way to go to address the continuing disparity between graduation rates for all students and those for our Indigenous students," said Enion.

"But I am confident and grateful for the work done each and every day by all Regina Public Schools staff in narrowing this gap, while at the same time working to help all students succeed."

The school also released its graduation rates for students who took longer to complete their education — a maximum of five years.  

'Extended' graduation rates

The extended rates increased from 80 per cent in 2015-2016 to 82 per cent in 2016-2017.

The rate for Indigenous students decreased over the same period, from 63 per cent in 2015-2016 to 59 per cent in the last school year.

The extended graduation rate for non-First Nations, Métis and Inuit students increased by four percentage points to 88 per cent in 2016-2017.