EDUCATION MINISTER WELCOMES STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOL

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New School Year Brings Additional Supports, Resources for Parents, Students: Minister Allum

As thousands of students head back to school this week, the Manitoba government will continue to support parents to help their children succeed with new resources, more teachers and a continued renewal of schools across the province, Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.

“Our government recognizes the importance of working with parents to ensure student success,” said Minister Allum.  “That’s why we’ve put more resources online about the curriculum students are learning to help parents be more engaged in their children’s education.”

The My Child in School website gives parents information about what their children are learning in compulsory subject areas such as English language arts, mathematics and science.  The website is organized by grade and each compulsory subject area features information about what students are learning, how students are assessed and other information or resources for parents.

“When parents meet their children’s teachers, they want to be ready with the right questions to ask.  The parent-friendly curriculum website gives them the information needed to do that,” said Minister Allum.

The minister also said this year will include working with schools to ensure a strong focus on foundational skills by:

  • continuing with implementation of a revised kindergarten to Grade 8 math curriculum to ensure children are getting basic skills in math;

  • introducing a new degree program for training principals at the University of Manitoba focused on developing strong school leaders; and

  • developing a new, revised language arts curriculum to ensure students are getting a strong foundation in reading, writing, grammar and spelling.

The Manitoba government will also continue with its smaller class size initiative with $10 million of support to schools, which has added over 200 new teachers in the last two years, and work continues on renovations and additions to create almost 50 new classrooms across the province, the minister said.

Minister Allum said work continues on new schools, gyms and science labs with:

  • completion of a new kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Amber Trails and a major expansion of Steinbach Regional Secondary School;

  • construction on new schools in Sage Creek, South Pointe and École la Voie du Nord in Thompson;

  • completion of 41 science lab renovations to date, with 29 underway; and

  • completion of four gym projects to date, with 14 scheduled for completion in 2014-15 and two projects underway.

Minister Allum also reminded Manitobans that reduced speeds in Winnipeg school zones and new traffic safety guidelines for schools are now in place.

In addition, construction is expected to begin early next year on a new $60-million, 100,000-sq.-ft. Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at Red River College’s Notre Dame campus and the province is expanding opportunities for students to do apprenticeships and earn credits towards college or university degrees while finishing high school, the minister said.

In recent years, the Manitoba government has introduced a number of initiatives to strengthen education in the province including:

  • building new schools in growing communities;

  • constructing additions and renovating classrooms to better suit smaller classes;

  • adding new gyms, and renovating and building new science labs;

  • revising the kindergarten to Grade 8 math curriculum to ensure students are getting the skills needed to do arithmetic and solve problems;

  • implementing a new assessment policy to ensure more rigorous standards in schools;

  • providing a new plain language provincial report card, now implemented provincewide; and

  • bringing in anti-bullying legislation and establishing a Safe Schools Charter and codes of conduct for all schools.

“Our government recognizes that for students to succeed in our province, we need to continue to invest in more teachers, quality schools and more opportunities for students to get the skills they need,” said Minister Allum.

Curriculum information for all grades is now available on the My Child in School website at www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/mychild/index.html

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