Major shift in BC education policy and more education news

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B.C. "re-engineering" education

New strategy focused on future jobs in the resource sector 

British Columbia has announced a major shift its education policy which will â€œmake education and training more effective and more relevant to the needs of industry and today’s workplace.” The new strategy will redirect approximately $3 billion of education funding over the next ten years toward training for high-demand occupations.

Critics have raised concerns that the new focus on skills-training will not prepare students for success in today’s knowledge economy and will instead prepare students for jobs which may not exist in 15 years. 

To read People for Education's synopsis of the new policy, click here.

Special education report strikes a chord

There has been an incredible response to the latest report from People for Education. Parents from across the province have been calling to share their experiences, and the report received national media attention, including the front page of the Toronto Star and a feature on CBC's The Current. The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario also released a powerful response to the report.

For a synopsis of the report and links to the media stories, click here.
To read the full report, click here.
To join the special education conversation, click here.

Alberta task force proposes new assessment regime for teachers and principals

Alberta's Ministry of Education has released a report from its Task Force on Teaching Excellence. The report—which received mixed reviews—includes 25 recommendations aimed at teachers, principals and the education system.

Among other things, the Task Force recommended:

  • a province-wide system of performance evaluation for teachers, principals and superintendents
  • time off, additional resources, and/or honouraria for teachers who consistently demonstrate teaching excellence and mastery
  • empowering principals with more responsibility for overseeing teaching staff, and considering removing principals from the Alberta Teachers’ Association to ensure the empowerment is effective
Read People for Education's synopsis, here.
See the Task Force’s recommendations placemat, here.
Read a summary of Inspiring Education, here.

Is creativity a measurable skill?

Free webinar to explore creativity and innovation

Join us on Wednesday, June 4, at 7 p.m., for the fourth instalment in our Measuring What Matters webinar series. Dr. Rena Upitis, Professor of Arts Education at Queen’s University, will lead the discussion about measuring creativity. Her creativity research includes everything from music to architecture to computer games. 

Creativity and innovation have a key role to play in helping students—and society—adapt to future challenges. Creativity can be learned through the arts, but also in science and math. In this webinar, we’ll talk about what creativity is, how schools can support it, and how it is being measured in schools today.

Click here to register for free.

Eric Peterson, Sean Cullen, Miriam Toews support public education

People for Education's annual benefit, Telling Tales Out of School, is on Sunday, May 25 at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, Tickets are going fast, so get get your tickets now

Both Sean Cullen and Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) will be there. Who knows what will happen as these two crazy Canucks reunite after their recent appearance on CBC's the Debaters?!

Click here to purchase tickets now.

Last chance to apply for PRO grants

Do you want to improve parent involvement in your school or board?

The deadline for Parents Reaching Out Grant applications is approaching fast. All applications are due this Friday, May 16. These grants—open to school councils, Parent Involvement Committees (PICs), school boards and non-profits working with parents—provide anywhere from $1000 (for school councils) to $30,000 (for regional or provincial organizations) to help enhance parent involvement.

Click here to apply for a School Council grant.
Click here to apply for a Regional/Provincial grant.
Click here to find some helpful tips about PRO grant proposals.

Measuring What Matters: Social-emotional skills

In April, People for Education hosted the third of our Measuring What Matters webinar series. More than 70 participants, including parents, educators and child development professionals, joined Dr. Stuart Shanker to discuss the social-emotional aspect of learning.

Dr. Shanker identified self-regulation as an essential social-emotional skill and a strong determinant of a child’s success in school (even more than IQ!) and in adult life. 

Participants discussed how to identify and gauge self-regulation skills in children. Some participants were concerned that measuring social-emotional skills could compound the stress and sense of failure among children who struggle with those skills.

For more highlights from the webinar, click here.
To join the Measuring What Matters discussion, click here.

And the winners are...

The 25th Annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition, the largest skilled trades competition in Canada, took place in Waterloo from May 5 to 7. With over 1900 competitors, the event celebrates and promotes the skilled trades and technology careers to youth across Ontario.

School boards participate in local competitions to qualify their students in all areas of technological education (landscaping, culinary arts, home building, fashion, carpentry, etc.). Congratulations to all of the winners, including Notre Dame High School students Hannah White, Samantha Tenus and teacher Marco Summaria, pictured here, who won the gold medal for video production. They will be joining the other finalists representing Ontario at the Canadian Skills Competition on June 6th. 

For more information on the Skills Competition, click here

Now more than ever, it's vital that we advocate for our schools.
People for Education is your strong voice for public education!

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May 14 – Toronto

The Toronto Catholic Parent Involvement Committee invites you to Fostering Resiliency through Self-Regulation with Stuart Shanker, author of Calm, Alert and Learning. Everyone is welcome.

Read more.

May 15 – Toronto

Come out to learn more about Helping Other Parents Everywhere (HOPE), a volunteer run, self-help and support group for parents and guardians who are troubled by the behaviours of their teen or adult children.

Read more.

May 24 â€“ Windsor

The Greater Essex County Parent Involvement Committee invites you to Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Understanding Learning Disabilities.

Read more.

May 31 â€“ Hamilton

The Hamilton Wentworth Parent Involvement Committee is hosting Literacy Beyond the Book, on the impact of recent innovations on 21st century learning.

Read more.

May 20 – Cramahe

Colborne PS and Northumberland Cares for Children invite you to learn more about raising resilient children and building healthy families. Includes free barbecue, child minding, and community service agency information.

Read more.

May 23 – Mississauga

Join the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education for their 75th annual conference and AGM. This year’s theme is “Parental Influence on Student Well-Being and Catholic Education”.

Read more.

May 31 – Ontario-wide

The Lincoln M. Alexander Award honours young Ontarians who have demonstrated exemplary leadership towards eliminating racial discrimination. 

Read more.

November 8– Toronto

SAVE THE DATE! People for Education's 18th Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, November 8, with keynote speaker Paul Tough. More details coming soon!

Read more.


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