New and upgraded schools, skills and trades training, progress on BC's Education Plan, and a new provincial strategy to erase bullying are just some of the highlights of the past year in education that will benefit students and their families for years to come.
As part of BC's Education Plan, here are some of the steps taken to transform British Columbia's education system to make it more flexible, dynamic and adaptable, to better prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world.
- Legislation passed this past year gives school districts more flexibility on school calendars so they can better determine when and where learning takes place.
- A new $195-million Learning Improvement Fund is helping to address complex classroom and composition issues.
- Through an advisory group and regional meetings, the ministry is also looking at ways to make curricula more flexible to allow students to pursue their own passions and interests. The goal is to have fewer but more meaningful learning outcomes to support deeper learning and more detailed understanding.
- To strengthen reading skills for young learners in B.C., the Ministry of Education recently dedicated an additional $10.7 million to advance early reading strategies and appointed a superintendent of reading to work with school districts to improve reading skills among kindergarten-to-Grade 3 students.
- The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) study released earlier this month shows B.C.'s Grade 4 students are among the world's top readers at their grade level - and had the highest average score in Canada.
- A new Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement has been appointed to maintain community partnerships, support the development of personalized learning opportunities, and strengthen Aboriginal completion rates.
- In the past year, more than $769 million has been invested in school capital projects to create modern learning environments for B.C. students. Throughout the province, 14 new and improved school facilities were opened, construction has started on another four schools and agreements have been signed with school districts signalling the start of work on 18 school improvement projects.
- As part of its ongoing Seismic Mitigation Program, the ministry worked with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) to review the latest research, technology and earthquake experience. The world-leading research and approach were used to develop new guidelines, mitigation strategies, and thorough re-assessment of school seismic safety risk. Since 2001, government has spent more than $840 million on school seismic mitigation projects, including the commitment this year of more than $122 million to address structural upgrades at 14 high-priority schools.
- New legislation created a more accountable and transparent teacher regulation system to better protect children and put the public interest first. Former B.C. Supreme Court judge Bruce M. Preston has been appointed as the new commissioner for teacher regulation.
- A new provincewide 10-point anti-bullying strategy is helping to ensure that every child feels safe, accepted and respected, regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation. The Erasebullying strategy includes new online resources and anonymous reporting tool, back by the most comprehensive threat assessment training program in Canada.
- Premier Christy Clark a hosted an Erase bullying summit that brought together students, parents and anti-bullying experts to discuss the Erasebullying strategy to look at what's working, and what additional steps should be taken to move forward.
- A Skills and Training Plan is helping to elevate the profile of trades careers and provide students with more opportunities to start an apprenticeship earlier and earn graduation credits that can also be applied to the completion of a trades or technical program.
- After a year-long labour dispute, a mediator was appointed and an agreement was subsequently reached with the B.C. Teachers' Federation (BCTF).
- Premier Christy Clark announced a review of the teacher bargaining process and the government is currently engaging with the BCTF and other education stakeholders on how best to make systemic improvements prior to the next round of bargaining.
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Discover Trades at: http://www.discovertradesbc.ca/
Erasebullying at: http://www.erasebullying.ca/
PIRLS report: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/assessment/nat_int_pubspirls.htm
Changing Results for Young Readers: http://changingresultsforyoungreaders.bclibraries.ca/
To see more about Ministry of Education initiatives and announcements like new schools, skills and trades programs, the Erasebullying strategy, and how well B.C. students are doing at reading, click on the video-links below:
Alberni District Secondary School grand opening: http://youtu.be/6Y7d7jqJswA
Victoria High School Fairey Tech wing: http://youtu.be/XZ31uDBXi1w
Victoria High School Fairey Tech wing: http://sendtonews.com?SK=mQoSo4hJrq
Erase bullying: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC98DF01C9AF53E70
Margaret Jenkins Elementary reading results: http://youtu.be/RDvZreaamns
James Park Elementary Port Coquitlam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VrJwqSWxkc
James Park Elementary Port Coquitlam: http://sendtonews.com?SK=4XBIpW2fhR
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education