School Inspection Program
Until now, the process that is been in place has been reactive in nature and priorities have been set by individual boards. Remedial work and inspections are done after complaints are made through the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee in each school. Following the first complaint of this administration’s mandate, I, as the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, put into action a very proactive approach that will see all 63 schools across the province inspected.
• 2010 has been a positive year for Education and Early Childhood Development. Kindergarten was welcomed into the public school system in September, 2010. Our investment in kindergarten tripled from just over $3 million, to $10 million, representing a new investment of $6.8 million – over and above the $3.2 million already being spent.
Last December we received our less than spectacular PISA results… We were not surprised by these results… there were a few areas that were more shocking than others, such as the number of children who are performing below the “Level 2″ standard… as well as the differences in gender results…
Initiatives related to improving literacy and numeracy:
• We have implemented a preventative approach in the primary and elementary years. (Kindergarten, Reading Recovery TM, EYE, Preschool Excellence Initiative, Early Numeracy Intervention Program). These interventions are paying off… we recognize the success we are having in the early years and now wee need to focus more on the system as a whole to improve student achievement and outcomes from K-12.
• In June 2010 more than 300 stakeholders gathered for a very important conversation about preparing students for the 21st century.
• The overall feeling is that the transition of Kindergarten into the school system has been extremely smooth. All players from department to board staff including PEITF and the ECDA have expressed their acknowledgment of a job well done. This was only possible thanks to the cooperation of the boards, schools, staff and the department.
• In May 2010 we launched the Preschool Excellence Initiative… another fundamental shift in Government’s policy that changes the focus in the early years from child care to early learning… as a Government, we understand the significance of the early years. We are committed to improving the experiences and learning that children in Prince Edward Island have and we have demonstrated this through a substantial investment made in Prince Edward Island children and their families.
Creating a new landscape for learning
• Children’s biggest influence regarding what importance is placed on learning, is their family… they develop certain skills in school but they develop values and habits at home… we need to change the culture of learning on Prince Edward Island… we need to further engage parents in the learning community… it is this change in culture that will create a new importance and value for education on Prince Edward Island.
Expectations for educators
• Our teachers and educators are key in supporting the changes that need to happen to improve student achievement…
• The Summit on Learning started one of the most important conversations on learning and education this province has ever engaged in and people were grateful to be part of it. And I am committed to continued this two-way communication into the future.