High school attendance reaches 'critical' low in N.W.T.'s Beaufort-Delta
Only 30% of students in Grades 10-12 are showing up for class
The Beaufort Delta Education Council says only 30 per cent of students in Grades 10-12 are attending classes.
Denise McDonald, superintendent of schools for the region, says warmer weather usually leads to lower attendance, but not this low. More students are out on the land or are just staying up late and sleeping in.
"Parents are having difficulty. Parents are saying 'we can't wake our children up.'"
The Beaufort Delta Education Council manages schools in small communities along the N.W.T.'s Arctic coast, from Sachs Harbour, pop. 132, to Inuvik, pop. 3,265.
McDonald says the current situation can't continue, and families need to take greater responsibility for their children's education.
Lesa Semmler, chair of the Beaufort Delta Education Council, is also a parent of a recent high school grad who at one time didn't want to go to school.
"I had to fight, and when he became a teenager I had to fight with him even more," she said. "I woke him up and yelled at him every day."
McDonald says the school board will be meeting with aboriginal groups in the region over the next couple of days. She will be raising the issue with their leaders.