Sankofa Centre of Excellence Graduation Coach

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Sankofa Centre of Excellence Graduation Coach Program

Advancing the academic success of African, Black and Caribbean students in the OCDSB.   

Research studies have found that outcomes for Black students are significantly lower than that of their peers especially within education and employment. In addition, Black youth are over-represented in the criminal justice system. These outcomes have been attributed to systemic inequities.  

The program at Ridgemont H.S. aims to provide African, Black and Caribbean students with intensive and culturally responsive support to help them with their academic achievements and well-being in a safe and welcoming environment that fosters a sense of belonging. The results will be an increase in confidence, attendance and engagement in their learning environment, and increased graduation rates to support advancement of African, Black and Caribbean students in their lives and chosen career paths.

Contact Info

Joan Thompson
Graduation Coach for Black Students
Ridgemont High School
[email protected]

Program Objectives

The program aims to:
  • Identify African, Black and Caribbean learners experiencing barriers to engagement, learning and well-being.  
  • Assist individual students and their families to develop and implement academic and well-being goals.
  • Identify and facilitate access and connections to academic supports and community resources for African, Black and Caribbean students.

The Role of the Coach

The Graduation Coach is to mentor, advise and advocate for African, Black and Caribbean students and their families. They will help foster trusting relationships between families, students, school staff, administration and the School Board so that students feel supported. They will also work collaboratively with school teams and community partners, and provide assistance with the following opportunities:  
  • Transition support from Grade 8 to 9 / secondary to post secondary 
  • 40 hours community service
  • Credit accumulation 
  • Navigating their chosen pathways
  • Field trips
  • Well-being
  • Mentorship


Download the program flyer below.
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