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A Great School Year Ahead

The last full month of the summer season has come and gone, and we are nearing the Labour Day long weekend, which many consider to be the last long weekend of summer. I hope that you were able to take in all the wonderful things that the season has to offer and continue to enjoy the remaining warm days ahead. This Labour Day Weekend, remember to exercise caution if you plan to spend time by the water and refresh your memory on water safety tips. I hope you have a fun and safe weekend with family and friends.

Many farm stands and markets are still operating well into September so be sure to stock up on some local produce for your Labour Day barbecues. We are very lucky to live in a riding with a large farming community and it is important that we show our support by buying local.

The end of summer also means that students are preparing to head back to class. With students back to school, it means that buses will be out in the mornings and afternoons doing pick up and drop offs. While we get back into the swing of the school year, please be sure to watch out for children crossing the street and remember to stop for the stop sign and flashing lights on school buses. Don’t forget school buses also stop for all railroad crossings so if you are driving behind a bus, be prepared to stop. Back to school can bring a mixed bag of emotions for some children, and parents too, but I hope that you have a wonderful first day and a great school year ahead.

As always, if you or your family have concerns with any federal matters, please contact me at 705-728-2596 or doug.shipley@parl.gc.ca.

Doug Shipley, MP Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte


Ontario Preparing Students for Success

Students and parents can expect updated curriculum, more support and staffing for new school year

Aug-. 8, 2023 TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing new student supports and updating curriculum for the 2023-24 school year. These actions will refocus school boards on the development of foundational skills in read-ing, writing and math, supported by almost $700 million more in base edu-cation funding, $109 million in a new strategy to boost literacy rates, and the hiring of 2,000 more educators.

“Our government is delivering on our commitment to continue to raise the bar by boosting student success in the classroom with a focus on reading, writing, math, STEM disciplines, and learning about mental health literacy,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Our students deserve a stable and enjoyable school year with the full school experience of extracurricu-lars, clubs and more that build real life and job skills that go beyond the classroom.”

Beginning this September, all publicly funded school boards will be re-quired to adopt provincial student achievement priorities and metrics to:

  • Help students improve EQAO scores in reading, writing and math;
  • Prepare students for future success to raise graduation rates, en-courage more students to participate in job skills programs and take senior math and science courses; and
  • Improve student engagement and awareness of mental health sup-ports.

To further support students facing challenges with math, Ontario is invest-ing over $71 million to launch the Math Action Achievement Plan, a strate-gy to boost math competence in the classroom and improve board ac-countability. This includes:

  • One lead per school board with the focus of helping improve math outcomes for students. These leads will be responsible for curricu-lum implementation and standardized training and lead board-wide actions to meet targets.
  • More than 300 math coaches will provide direct support in class-rooms.
  • New Math Action Teams will work directly with school boards to identify and recommend targeted strategies to improve student achievement.

To ensure students have the skills they need to compete and succeed, the province is investing more than $100 million to hire over 940 educators to support students from Grades 7 to 10 transition to high school. Ontario also intends to fund $1 million per year for two years beginning in 2024 for the Ontario Science Centre to create hands-on learning experiences and vir-tual lesson plans for students, as well as STEM teaching materials for edu-cators.

For the 2023-24 school year, Ontario is introducing revamped curriculum supports to ensure student success including:

  • Language Curriculum: Last updated in 2006/2007, the revised Language and Français Grade 1 to 9 curriculums include founda-tional instruction to support reading and writing, critical thinking, and digital media literacy skills.
  • Educator Resources: The government has provided $825,000 to Dyslexia Canada to develop, in partnership with International Dys-lexia Association – Ontario, evidence-based systematic and explicit instruction resources and learning supports that are now ready for use.
  • Reading Screener and Supports: The province’s $109 million 2023-24 investment includes the largest screening program in Can-ada, funded with $12.5 million annually to support students from Year 2 of Kindergarten to Grade 2 to be screened for early reading. Up to 700 literacy educators will work to support students who are behind in reading development.
  • Grade 10 Digital Technology and Innovations in the Changing World: This course will equip students to be innovative leaders by teaching them how to apply coding concepts and skills, build hands-on projects, and investigate artificial intelligence, cybersecu-rity, and other emerging digital technologies.
  • Financial Literacy Modules: Secondary students will learn how to create a budget, manage their money, protect themselves from fi-nancial scams, and plan for long-term purchases such as buying a house or car with new modules.
  • Mental Health Modules: The Ontario government has partnered with School Mental Health Ontario in collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children to develop Mental Health Literacy Modules, for teacher use in Grades 7 and 8.

These measures will improve transparency for parents and ensure Ontar-io’s public education system continues to focus on improving student out-comes by providing them with the skills and tools they need to succeed, particularly in key areas like reading, writing and math.


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