The success of our students is our government’s central focus and principal concern for families across Ontario. With the new school year underway, I want to update constituents how our government is strengthening and modernizing the education system to better help students reach their full potential and prepare them for their future careers with transferrable life skills.
I’m proud we are making key investments in our students’ education in our local community. These investments include for the Upper Canada District School Board: $407,419 more for the School Foundation Grant for principals, vice principals and office support staff. $401,281 more for the Special Education Grant for special education supports, equipment and supplies.
We are also providing students with an updated and modern curriculum, along with the tools they need to succeed including: a new Careers Curriculum that features a more comprehensive focus on financial literacy; a new four-year $200 million Math Strategy, designed to get back to basics and make sure that students and educators have the math skills and resources to succeed in both the classroom and the workforce; doubling mental health supports in class and enhancing the Health and Physical Education curriculum with an increased focus on mental health awareness, concussions, healthy body image, cybersecurity and bullying.
Our reforms to class sizes will amount to a provincial average of 22.5 students in Grades 9 to 12 classrooms this school year compared to 22 last year. It is also important to remember our youngest students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will see no increase in class size, while Grades 4 to 8 will see up to one additional student in the classroom this year.
For some context, at the beginning of every school year, late registrations can cause some classes to be too full. To be clear, this is something that happens every year. School boards and schools will be spending the next couple of weeks adjusting to these enrollment challenges.
It is especially important for parents and students to know that every high school in Ontario is equipped to support students in meeting their graduation requirements. This means every student will be able to graduate with confidence that our skills-focused education system will lead them to a successful and meaningful career.
I look forward to continuing to provide parents and students with the facts and to stand on their side as we work to ensure that students live up to their full potential, have the best education available and the brightest future.
MPP Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes