16 Feb Student Success: Information for Parents
Your Liberal government has undertaken the hard work of fixing Nova Scotia’s education system. We know the system is broken and we know that change can be hard but when it comes to our kids, the status quo will not do. We are working to build stronger classrooms with the interests of students as our top priority.
All of the initiatives – the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, the Commission on Inclusive Education, the Pre-Primary Program, and the education system administrative review by Dr. Glaze – are inter-connected. The initiatives represent a continuum of support designed to better prepare kids to enter school, and better prepare students to compete in the workforce.
We are focused on student achievement. The changes we are making will strengthen our public education system with students at the centre of every decision. These changes include:
- The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions was established last year to give classroom teachers direct input on policy
- The Commission on Inclusive Education will be reporting early this spring on a better inclusion model
- We are adding extra resources and supports to the classroom through the work of the Commission on Inclusive Education. These resources will provide extra supports for children with special needs
- Educational expert Dr. Avis Glaze consulted Nova Scotians on modernizing education administration and structures
We are implementing recommendations that will help students do better, and ensure they have more choices and opportunities after they graduate.
We also want to empower parents to have more say over local school priorities. We will complete a full review of the mandate and selection process for School Advisory Councils (SACs), but what
we can say now is SACs will have access to funds to support local priorities such as school events, extracurricular activities, and other opportunities to bring a local focus to their school communities. We will provide support and training to SACs, to ensure they have the support they need. It’s important to point out that School Advisory Councils will not be replacing the elected school boards. Day to day operations will continue to be managed by superintendents, principals and other board staff.
Much of the current public discussion is about the governance and administration changes. An important focus of those changes is shifting resources (including staff and funding) from administration into classrooms to support students. We will do this by:
Moving teaching support specialists (literacy leads, math mentors) out of regional education offices and into classrooms four days a week, with the fifth day dedicated to planning and preparation.
Dissolving the seven elected regional school boards and creating one provincial advisory council to ensure there is a provincial standard and to eliminate inconsistencies in our schools across the
province. The structure of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) board will not change.
Putting money saved from dissolving elected boards (expenses/stipends) back into the education system. A portion of this money will go to enhance the role and influence of SACs across the province.
Giving teachers more control over the learning materials they need to best support the students in their classrooms.