DSBN pilot program to aid at-risk students a positive

This fall, the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) will open the DSBN Academy — a new school for students in grades six and seven.

Attendees will need to be accepted through an application process criteria, which includes that they be from homes where their guardians did not graduate from a post-secondary institution.

Recent studies have shown that coming from a first-generation home where one’s parents did not seek education after high school is a substantial barrier for students to post-secondary education — even more so than family income.
It is for this reason that we commend the DSBN’s implementation of the pilot program and their willingness to create programs at high schools that encourage aiding high-risk students.

Though we are wary of schools that segregate high school populations, the DSBN Academy, among other after-school initiatives created by the region, are forward-thinking and innovative.

Students who need extra encouragement to pursue higher education should be given every opportunity to do so and through tutoring, proposed partnerships with post-secondary institutions as well as pilot programs, the DSBN is beginning to address the problems that so often plague low-income, rural and first-generation students. Their programs should be closely monitored so they may be implemented elsewhere if they are successful.