Implementation of the Education Action Plan is on target with 60 per cent of the actions completed or substantially underway. The plan, launched in July 2018, is building a more inclusive learning environment that is responsive to student’s strengths and needs and helping them succeed.
This work is touching every aspect of the education system through the nine focus areas of the Education Action Plan: inclusive education, student mental health and wellness, mathematics and reading, Indigenous education, early years, multicultural education, career and cooperative education and teacher education and professional development.
Budget 2019 allocated $13 million, an increase of $6 million from last year, to continue implementation of the plan’s recommendations and support better outcomes for students.
Highlights of advancements to date in teaching and programming resources in schools and school districts are provided in the backgrounder below.
Implementing the Education Action Plan delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to provide better services and outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at www.thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
“This is an exciting time of growth and renewal in the K-12 education system that is clearly focused on the classroom and providing the resources and programs to help our students, regardless of their abilities, reach their potential. Through the Education Action Plan, over 80 actions are being put in place and 350 teacher resources are being hired over a three year period to ensure students have access to the supports they need.”
Honourable Brian Warr
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
“The implementation of the Education Action Plan will yield unprecedented results for students. Teachers will receive the support they deserve. The progress to date is encouraging as work continues to advance the Education Action Plan.”
Dr. Alice Collins
Chairperson, Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes
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Education Action Plan
Education and Early Childhood Development
Dr. Alice Collins
Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes
Update on Implementation of Education Action Plan
Implementation of the five-year Education Action Plan is being done in three phases. One year following the launch of the plan in July 2018, 50 actions have been completed or are substantially underway and 32 medium and long-term actions are in progress.
New Student Services Model introduced in 80 schools, located in every region of the province, to be implemented in all schools in September 2020.
The new Student Services Model includes:
- The creation of a new allocation of school-based reading specialists.
- The creation of a new position, teaching and learning assistant.
- An increase in the number of learning resource teachers (teacher librarians).
In classrooms, this means: 21 new reading specialists, increasing to 104 over the next two years; 54 teaching and learning assistants increasing to 200 over the next two years; and 13.5 additional teacher-librarians, increasing to 39 over the next two years.
To build math skills and support mathematics teachers:
- Implementation of a bursary program for K-6 teachers. To date, 115 K-6 educators have applied to upgrade their math qualifications.
- Provided 6 district level mathematics specialists to support K-6 teachers.
- Improvements made to the mathematics curriculum in K-12.
To support student mental health and wellness:
- Introduction of Social and Emotional Curriculum in fall 2019.
Developed a Responsive Teaching and Learning Policy and currently enhancing coordination of services for students with exceptionalities.
- Established two courses in exceptionalities as well as course work in comprehensive school health as part of Primary/Elementary undergraduate programming at Memorial University’s Faculty of Education.
- Working with the school districts to introduce new healthy eating policies and guidelines that respond to Canada’s new Food Guide.
To support multicultural education:
- Twelve additional English as a Second Language teachers are being added over three years.
- Developing a Multicultural Education Framework to expand programming for ESL students as well as introduce curriculum outcomes at all grade levels to ensure all students learn about multiculturalism.
To improve education opportunities for Indigenous students:
- A framework for Indigenous Education and a new Indigenous Course Policy has been developed in consultation with all Indigenous groups. This will allow Indigenous peoples greater flexibility and the ability to develop curriculum for themselves.
- The framework will guide the development of curriculum outcomes and learning resources for all students that reflect the history, contributions, traditions, and cultures of Indigenous peoples.
To build career and co-operative education opportunities for students:
- Work is underway on new career development courses and programs that include experiential learning.
- New Skilled Futures program launched in spring 2019.
To enhance learning in the early years:
- Work on proposed amendments to the Schools Act, 1997 to be tabled in spring 2020, to enable schools to offer programs for pre-school aged children.
- Development of a foundational document and implementation plan for Junior Kindergarten.
- Implemented enhanced financial incentives for Early Childhood Educators to improve their professional education levels.
- Increased capacity for professional learning opportunities and upgrading of qualifications for Early Childhood Educators.
To support teacher preparation and professional development:
- Various new professional learning opportunities are now available to teachers.
- The department, Memorial University’s Faculty of Education, and the school districts are engaged in regular dialogue to ensure existing and new programs offered at the Faculty of Education reflect the current and emerging needs of the school system.