A Nova Scotia Solution for a Better Education System

As Liberals, we believe every child deserves the right to high achievement. Which is why for the first time in 20 years, we are changing the model of inclusive education.

We budgeted $15 million for the 2018/19 school year to ensure we could act quickly following the release of the report from the Commission for Inclusive Education.

To that end, this coming September, your Liberal government is adding 219 supports into the system province wide. We will also provide additional training and programs for teachers and students.

New supports include:

• 100 student and classroom supports that include Child and Youth Care Practitioners and Education Assistants

• 70 specialist teachers with expertise supporting students with behavioural challenges and complex needs

• 11 parent navigators that will help families access important programs and services.

• 8 new Alternative Education Programs, supported by 24 staff

• 6 school psychologists or speech language pathologists

• 4 student health partnership nurses

• 2 Achieve programs through the Nova Scotia Community College, supported by four staff

The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions has also announced they are using some of their funding to add 57 new high school teachers to support the needs of students.

That adds up to almost 276 more physical resources being added to classrooms and school this fall.

On top of that, two-third of teachers surveyed by the commission said they felt insufficiently equipped to deal with increasingly complex classrooms.

Your Liberal government is providing teachers with specialized training, and zeroing in on teachers’ professional learning and development to better focus skills and development on supporting students with autism and other special needs. We’re working with our health partners to increase student health nurses, and providing specific training to four teachers to become Board Certified Behaviour Analysts to help asses and support those students with the highest needs.

We’re training teacher assistants and teachers in autism support and in response to the Commission’s findings, we’re introducing parent navigators – which is a new role to help connect parents to available services for their students.

We are also introducing an assistive technology plan to help students better communicate and connect to learning in innovative ways.

Your Liberal government is making sure we have supports and resources for the students who need it most, and making changes to the system to ensure that we are able to deliver those supports effectively.

This has been a very big year in education. Each of the major initiatives we are implementing and supporting – universal preprimary for four years olds, the work of the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, changes to our administrative and governance system and now the changes to the model of inclusive education – are connected by the common goal of ensuring our students have what they need to do their best.

Our students must come first.