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 District of Mackenzie is hoping to get some feedback from School District 57 on its official community plan. As Mackenzie goes through a recovery of the area, the plan is being formed to deal with the resurgence expected to happen. Chief Administrative Officer Mark Fercho says there have been some changes to the area READ MORE
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
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
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 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
At a meeting on June 25th, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ board cut full-day, every day kindergarten for the 2012-13 school year in order to balance their budgets. This follows the same move made last week in the city’s public schools. Several trustees voiced concerns about the cut and blamed the provincial government for failing to READ MORE
The Ontario Ministry of Education has assembled the Accepting Schools Expert Panel to bring together experts to identify and advise on the development of resources and practices that promote a positive school climate, equity and inclusive education, as well as bullying prevention and early intervention. Read more at the Caledon Enterprise .
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
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
The need to fundraise stemming from inadequate funding is making it necessary for Ontario schools to bulk up on private dollars, sometimes even for the basics. With the top 10 per cent of fundraising schools bringing in the same amount of money as the bottom 75 per cent combined, reliance on fundraising dollars as a core READ MORE
In the spring budget, the province of Ontario identified school board amalgamations as a way to reduce administrative expenses. With the province targeting areas with low population growth and declining enrolment, it is moving fast to cut $10.5 million in education costs by merging school boards in 2013. Read more at Metro News .
With childhood obesity rates climbing at alarming rates, Onatrio explores multiple interventions aimed at different aspects of healthy living including healthier cafeteria selections and increases to daily physical activity for students. Read more at The Globe and Mail .
Facing a $110 million dollar shortfall this year, some Toronto District School Board trustees say the district can’t balance its books and roll out full-day kindergarten at the same time. Read more at the Toronto Sun .
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
Almost half of all Ontario high schools are still charging students course fees, despite guidelines introduced by the province last fall telling them not to, says an annual report on the state of education. Read more at The Toronto Star .
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
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
Amendments to the BC Schools Act will allow school districts to set their own schedules. The current schedule with summers off is based on an agrarian schedule, and is not considered relevant to most parents ‘nor students ‘current needs. Read more at CBC.
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.
Last Friday, teachers in Nova Scotia rallied in front of 18 MLA offices to protest provincial cuts to education. The government insists the cuts are a necessary part of declining enrollment, but teachers are claiming cuts to funding mean larger class sizes and poorer quality education. Read more at the CBC.
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 .
For 60 years Gideon Bibles have been distributed to grade 5 students Owen Sound Ontario, but an 8-3 vote by local trustees is bringing the practice to an end. The board made the move to reflect both the diversity of the local community, not wanting to grant preferred access to a particular faith group, and READ MORE
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
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
The Gold Trail BC School District, encompassing Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet and Lytton recently passed an anti-homophobioa policy. The decision to do so came up at a routine committee meeting, “We thought it was important that we have a policy in place to make it quite clear where we stood on the matter,” says READ MORE
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
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
Hoping to call international attention to the child poverty in Canada, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC joined other Canadian advocacy groups and made presentations to the UN working group on Convention in the Rights of the Child. The organization is focusing much of their work on child poverty and the lack of READ MORE
An updated study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative s shows that university graduates more than pay off the cost of their undergraduate degrees: degrees mean higher incomes, which mean higher taxes paid into the public treasury. These two infographics from the study help explain their calculations. Read the full report here .
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 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
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
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
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’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
According to the Globe and Mail, iPads, bring your own computer devices and twitter are the latest trends in education, while cursive writing and long division are going out of style. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of research validating computers over other basic skills. In fact, in the heart of Silicon Valley, many READ MORE
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.
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
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
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
The 2011 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries’ performance. It provides a broad array of comparable indicators on education systems and represents the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally. The indicators report covers the READ MORE
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
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
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
The Vancouver School Board may follow in the footsteps of Richmond, Maple Ridge, Langley and implement a year-round school calendar. The motive behind such a move is to keep students engaged so that they don’t forget what they learned the year before. The board has not settled on a model but is considering either including READ MORE
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’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
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
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