Thousands of Nova Scotia students heading back to school this week will find reduced class sizes, more mental health supports, and new ways to get help with their reading and math skills.
“We worked with teachers to plan and prepare several exciting changes for the upcoming school year,” said Education and Early Childhood Education Minister Zach Churchill. “We will keep working with teachers to build stronger classrooms here in Nova Scotia.”
The 2017-18 school year will also see a provincewide class-size cap of 28 students, with flexibility to go up to 30 for junior high and middle schools, and a cap at 30 students for high school, with flexibility up to 32.
“Parents, teachers, and students want smaller classes,” said Mr. Churchill. “That important change is coming this fall.”
The SchoolsPlus program will also be expanded to include eight new mental health clinicians this year. Launched in 2008, the program is now available in 280 schools across the province. It brings a range of mental health services and other health programs together with mentoring, social work, homework support and justice services into schools where children, youth and families can easily access them. SchoolsPlus will be available in all schools by 2019-20.
“Our students need support to succeed and thrive,” said Mr. Churchill. “We are adding more of those supports this year until this program is available in every school.”
This school year the department will continue to focus on what it heard from teachers, staff and parents. It continues to work with the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and the Commission on Inclusive Education to improve and enhance Nova Scotia’s education system for teachers, staff and students.