Category Archives : Education

Public Education of good quality supports all learners. It is the foundation of democracy and key to citizenship, creativity, innovation and a healthy culture of engaged citizens. The themes present in this category include anti-bullying, green schools and education funding.


School Board action on Carbon Offsets

The Trustees of British Columbia’s School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay) recently passed the following motion, and wrote an explanatory letter to the Honourable George Abbott, BC Minister of Education. The motion, and letter, communicate challenges they face within the current structure of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, and suggests improvements that would help their district READ MORE


The Science Behind Climate Change – Video

As global climate negotiations wrap up in Doha, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the science behind the push for climate action. You can view the video on our YouTube channel, by clicking here.  Dr. John Fyfe is one of 150 Scientists contributing to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The fifth “assessment report” will be published in 2013-2014. The forth “assessment report” was published READ MORE


How a Dyslexic Student Could Change Canada’s Schools

In this Tyee article , Past North Vancouver School Board Trustee Crawford Kilian writes about potential implications of the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the North Vancouver School Board must reimburse the family of Jeffery Moore, who put their son into private school in order to get adequate support for his learning disability.  As the READ MORE


Schools strive to open lines of communication

Abbotsford principal Dexter Horton  is cancel-ling his school’s monthly newsletter as part of an effort to improve communications with parents buy delivering more frequent messages to Clayburn middle school parents using Face-book, Twitter and school blogs.  He hopes these messages will draw more parents into the school to find out what’s going on, meet the teachers, discuss their READ MORE


Applications are now being accepted for Next Up: A Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice

Applications are now being accepted for Next UpA Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice Columbia Institute is a national partner for the  Next Up Leadership program for young social change activists between the ages of 18 and 32.  The program is offered in four cities across three provinces;  Next Up BC READ MORE


Vancouver Technical school’s market garden to be a Canadian first

Under a new agreement between the Vancouver School Board and Fresh Roots Urban Farms, a non-profit society that promotes urban agriculture, Vancouver Technical School will be creating a 1,000 square meter garden on the school’s property in September.  The Van Tech garden  is expected to not only provide a valuable learning opportunity for students, but yield READ MORE


Autism advocate raises concerns over inclusive education

The New Brunswick government will invest $62 million over the next three years to improve inclusive education.  Autism advocate and Fredericton lawyer Harold Doherty is questioning the education department’s plans around autism by pointing out that some children with autism cannot function properly in a mainstream classrooms.  “It’s a philosophy, it’s not an evidence based approach READ MORE


Vancouver School Board releases results of public consultations

The Vancouver School Board has released the results of surveys conducted as part of its public consultation process.  The board will be discussing the results, including whether or not to redevelop properties in the face of declining enrolments and provincial funding as well as the introduction of a balanced school calendar. Read more at the Vancouver Sun READ MORE


Anti-bullying bill says schools must allow ‘gay-straight alliances’

All schools, including those in the Catholic system in Ontario, won’t be able to stop students from calling anti-homophobia clubs “ gay-straight alliances” if changes to a proposed anti-bullying law are passed. The amendment is being applauded as a step forward for human rights, giving students the right to name their own clubs. Read more at The Toronto Star READ MORE


Fraser’s Institute accused of including incorrect data in school rankings study

Kamloops-Thompson school district leaders are calling foul on the Fraser Institute for including incorrect data in their school rankings study. The Institute has been called to task for ranking the mean income of Chase at $103,000 despite knowing that the C.D. Howe Institute lists Chase’s mean income at $40,000. The district also accuses the Institute READ MORE


“Generation Queer” – a resource for educators

Generation Queer, Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Canadian Schools , provides an overview of LGBTQ youth-related research, a current picture of homophobia in Canadian schools and ideas  for helping to build the “resiliency of sexual and gender minority youth “in schools . Read more on the Alberta Teachers’ Association website. 


Students from public schools do better in university math and physics

A study published in the International Journal of Science Education provides good news for parents with children in public schools; students from public schools outperform in the fields of math and physics at university. Furthermore, students from East Vancouver outperformed students from Westside schools. Read more in the Vancouver Sun.  Find study here .


BC secondary students develop a taste for fresh local food

BC secondary students are sharpening their palettes, culinary skills and appreciation for local, seasonal, and nutritious food in a program called Take a Bite of BC . The program delivers donations from 42 local B.C. farms, food producers and industry associations twice a month to participating schools. Currently 37 schools are participating. According to cofounder, Lindsay Babineau, “Each of the READ MORE


Faced with declining enrollment Toronto School Board may have to close 171 schools

The Toronto School Board is considering closing171 schools to deal with a significant drop in enrollment. While the student population has dropped by 71,000 students, many worry that closing schools will have serious consequences for students, families and neighbourhoods. Trustee Cathy Dandy called closing schools “the most wasteful, inefficient, myopic thing any government can consider, READ MORE


BC school boards to recapture carbon offset funds

BC school boards have succeeded in recapturing funds previously levied on them and distributed to the private sector. Carbon offset fees charged to boards by the Pacific Carbon Trust will now be deposited with the Ministry of Education’s Energy Efficient Capital Account for the exclusive use by boards for energy-efficiency projects. This should amount to READ MORE


Ontario’s early childcare programs on the verge of collapse

The success of all day kindergarten in Ontario appears to be undermining funding for early childcare programs for children aged 0-3. Daycare in the province is so critically underfunded that in Toronto, 21,000 parents are waiting for daycare subsidies and those with the means to pay in full are still faced with year long waitlists. READ MORE


Fresh roots bring healthy food and hands on learning to Vancouver Schools

A Vancouver organization, Fresh Roots is working with schools to develop “market gardens.” The gardens provide food to the cafeteria and to culinary programs, but are also used as a learning tool in curriculum. Known benefits of school-based food programs include, a decrease in bullying and vandalism, improved nutrition and academic scores, greater community connections READ MORE


Finland’s education system values equality over excellence

Finland’s education system was reformed in the 1980’s with a singular goal in mind, to provide all students regardless of economic or social background or geographic with the opportunity to learn. Schools provide meals, healthcare, guidance and counseling. Despite requiring far less homework than in other countries and despite having a large focus on play, READ MORE


Providing free food to students improves scores, reduces tardiness and boosts overall well-being

Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows that providing free healthy food to students results in an immediate jump in test scores alongside improved behaviour and reduced tardiness ,there is still no stable source of funding for such programs. Schools rely on donations from communities and businesses resulting in inconsistent delivery of programs. An article by Stephen READ MORE


City of Toronto proposing major cuts to school board funding

A recent announcement that all city boards including school boards will be facing budget cuts of ten percent came as a surprise to many Toronto school boards. Two of the city’s largest boards had just met with the Mayor’s office to discuss coordination of services and cost saving measures days before the cuts were announced READ MORE


Education twice as cost effective in reducing crime as incarceration – Report

A new UBC study titled “Education and Crime over the Life Cycle,” examines the impact of education levels on reducing property crimes. Co-author Giovanni Gallipoli explains,  “Our findings suggest that keeping kids in school, making them employable and improving their value in the labour market is nearly twice as cost-effective at reducing crime as simple READ MORE


Ontario Schools may start collecting data on language and ethnicity

Ontario’s auditor general is suggesting that school administrators start collecting data on students’ ethnicity, language and socio-economic status. The suggestion comes as several US states have found success in targeting programs to specific ethnic groups to raise graduation rates. The information would not be made public, but it could help administrators to fund and design READ MORE


Edmonton passes sexual orientation and gender identity policy

Edmonton is the first Alberta school board to develop a policy to make schools welcoming and safe for “students, staff and families who identify or are perceived as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer or questioning their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” Read more in the Edmonton Journal.


School Boards raising concern about lack of fairness with BC’s carbon offset program

All BC public institutions are legislated to be carbon neutral. To achieve this they have no choice but to purchase carbon offsets. Those offsets must be purchased from the Pacific Carbon Trust , a crown corporation that charges much more than any other offset company. Pacific Carbon Trust purchases offsets from industry and then sells them to public READ MORE


Ontario will introduce law to expel bullies from school permanently

Under new provincial legislation, school administrators will be able to permanently expel bullies. The province already has a Safe Schools Act and this new legislation will provide an opportunity to take meaningful action. Premier Mc Guinty is encouraging students, teachers and administrators to “to take action to prevent bullying, intervene when appropriate and apply appropriate READ MORE


School District 5 – Carbon Offsets Open Letter

The Trustees of British Columbia’s School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay) recently passed the following motion, and wrote an explainatory letter to the Honourable George Abbott, BC Minister of Education. The motion, and letter, communicate challenges they face within the current structure of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, and suggests improvements that would help their READ MORE


“Better primary schooling leads to a more robust democracy”

Fabrice Murtin, an OECD economist in Paris, and Romain Wacziarg, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, compared 74 countries’ democracy scores from 1870 to 2000 with their educational attainment. The study found that primary education had a far greater Impact on participating in democracies than did income. The authors suggest that primary READ MORE


Several schools opt out of WiFi to protect children’s health

Last spring, the Saanich School Board banned WiFi in all public elementary schools, now a private elementary school south of Prince George is following suite. The move to ban WiFi comes as reported cases of nausea, faintness, headaches and cardiac arrests among children, are on the rise. To find out more about WiFi and children’s READ MORE


Educators and elders fight to save Aboriginal languages

A Tyee series on Aboriginal education looks at the critical links between language and culture. With a steady decline in spoken aboriginal languages in BC, advocates and educators are looking for solutions. While elders are working hard to pass on their languages, fluent speakers are racing against time to teach the younger generations. Advocates are READ MORE


Purple Letter Campaign lobbies for a province-wide policy to make schools safe and inclusive for everyone

A campaign to create a sexual orientation and gender identity policy for all BC schools is underway. The campaign is asking individuals to submit personal letters explaining why they think such a policy is needed. Those in the LGBT community are encouraged to write as are their friends and allies. Letters can be sent to: READ MORE


BC school program provides students with locally grown food

BC’s Farm to School program is having a transformative effect on student participants. The program provides students with locally grown food served at the school cafeteria, and some classroom time dedicated to learning about local food and nutrition. At participant schools students are enthusiastically lining up at the salad bar and are showing a genuine READ MORE


Success of school food program exceeds expectations

A Toronto-based school food program is proving successful in raising academic scores and improving behavior for the students it serves. “Feeding Our Future,” was started after a Toronto student was shot by a fellow student. Some administrators and nutrition experts argued that “hungry kid was an angry kid.” By providing the basics – a meal READ MORE


The Kamloops-Thompson School district (No. 73) wants to see its carbon offsets go back into the public sector

School Districts across BC pay carbon tax to the Pacific Carbon Trust which then funnels that money into several private sector energy efficiency projects. Last year the PCT collected $4 million from BC schools. The Kamloops-Thompson School district (No. 73) wants to see its carbon offsets go back into the public sector. Read more at BC READ MORE