Students Building A Strong Foundation
September 3, 2013
Students in Nova Scotia will benefit from provincial investments to give them a strong academic foundation, and parents will soon have improved plain language report cards to track their children’s progress.
In the younger grades, students are learning with innovative efforts in literacy and math.
“All of our students, especially those in the younger grades, need to get a solid foundation in reading and math,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex. “This government has made a number of changes to the early grades. We are putting kids and learning first by doing things differently in our schools to ensure student success.”
The province will invest $6 million over two years to expand Succeeding in Reading to Grade 3, Ms. Jennex announced today, Sept. 3.
Succeeding in Reading helps students who need reading support. A literacy teacher works with the student and the classroom teacher to improve the student’s reading.
“Data show that Succeeding in Reading is helping students who need additional support in their reading and is helping more students than ever before,” said Ms. Jennex. “Expanding it to Grade 3 will help even more students.”
“Succeeding in Reading really helped my daughter in Grade 1,” said Erika Veinot, a parent of a child at Aldershot School in Kentville. “She started in January, and by the end of the school year, she was near grade level, and now loves to read.”
Elementary students in grades Primary to 3 will learn from a new mathematics curriculum. It focuses on fewer topics in greater depth, giving students more time to master key concepts at the right grade level.
The changes and innovation are not exclusive to the younger grades.
Grade 10 students will also use the new math curriculum this year. The new curriculum is being phased in, with grades 4, 5, 6 and 11 using it beginning in 2014-15, and grades 7, 8, 9 and 12 using it beginning in 2015-16.
Mathematics 10 will double to a full-year course to allow time to develop a deeper understanding of the material. All Grade 10 math students will also learn about financial literacy, such as keeping a budget.
Nearly 300 Grade 7 students in four schools will participate in an innovative research pilot that will complement Nova Scotia’s math curriculum, enhance teaching and learning, and develop technology skills.
Students, their families and teachers will be given tablets, portable computers or other devices to better learn math.
To ensure that parents are full partners in their children’s education, the province wants their input to develop a new report card to meet their needs. Ms. Jennex said the province will consult with parents and teachers to come up with a better, plain language report card.
“It important to know how your child is doing in school, so I was very concerned when I heard from parents that they were not happy with report cards this spring,” said Ms. Jennex. “Report cards need to be clear, helpful and accessible for all parents. I’m listening and I want to hear more from parents.”
Parents and teachers can send in their ideas, suggestions and feedback via e-mail to ReportCard@gov.ns.ca or by regular mail to:
Report Card Review
2021 Brunswick St.
Halifax, N.S., B3J 2S9
The deadline for submissions is Sept. 30.