What We Do
Our plan to promote a strong, vibrant, publicly funded education system is focused on three core priorities:
- High levels of student achievement
- Reduced gaps in student achievement
- Increased public confidence in publicly funded education
High levels of student achievement
Our goal is to have 75% of 12-year-olds achieving at the provincial standard (level 3) in reading, writing and math. To achieve this, we are expanding and deepening the implementation of literacy and numeracy practices in all schools and school boards. We will continue innovation in secondary schools to increase the graduation rate.
- improve literacy and numeracy for students in grades 4 to 8
- engage students through new teaching strategies, hands-on learning, use of technology and smaller class sizes
- implement innovative programs and instruction methods and expand course choices through our Student Success strategy
- enhance the way education is delivered to students by expanding e-learning opportunities, creating more online resources, increasing opportunities for experiential learning and supporting specialized schools
Our efforts are paying off. In 2002-03, just 54 per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students were achieving at or above the provincial standard. Today, 67 per cent those students are achieving at or above that standard. This represents a 13 percentage point increase since 2003.
Reduced gaps in student achievement
Our goal is to reach every student, regardless of his or her personal circumstances. We are promoting a publicly funded education system that respects diversity and brings all students together to learn. And through our Ontario Focused Intervention Partnership (OFIP), we have already narrowed the achievement gap between children with different socio-economic backgrounds.
Some other initiatives:
- provide targeted resources and training to help teachers improve boys' literacy
- boost Aboriginal student achievement with our new Aboriginal education strategy
- conduct a periodic curriculum review to ensure the curriculum reflects the reality and diversity of students' lives
- provide summer programs to ensure youth have access to support when regular classes end for the year
Increased public confidence in publicly funded education
Our goal is to create strong community-school partnerships and to make publicly funded schools the schools of choice for all parents. We are promoting two-way communication with the public and strengthening the role of schools in communities. By engaging the public and working collaboratively with school boards across the province, we are building a supportive learning environment.
To achieve our three goals we must also ensure a variety of supporting conditions are in place:
Early Childhood Learning
We have a new commitment to provide full-day learning for all four and five-year-olds. Early learning will enhance the lifelong success of students and improve success at the elementary level.
Note: The Ministry of Education is also responsible for the program and policy development of child care and is working towards creating a smoother transition for children and their families as they move from child care into the education system.
Creative expression is an emphasis on the revised curriculum. Arts programs are critical in order to stimulate different learning styles and ways of thinking.
The goal of the Character Development initiative is to develop school environments in which all people – students, teachers, administrators and support staff – treat each other with care and respect.
Engaging students academically and socially is important to helping them reach their full potential. Our Student Voice initiative is strengthening student participation in their school community and encouraging students to take control of their own learning.
Safe and Healthy Schools
School buildings and school grounds should be safe and healthy places to learn. We continually work on programs to reduce bullying, support at-risk students, provide programs for suspended and expelled students and promote smart food choices and active living.
Increased parental participation in learning activities is critical to the success of our literacy and numeracy strategies. The Parent Engagement Office identifies and promotes ways to increase parent involvement.
Peace and Progress
Positive relationship with teachers and support workers ensure stability and professional fulfillment. In such circumstances, we work together to improve student achievement and build confidence in our schools.
Upgraded facilities help students learn and visibly better buildings are tangible reminders of a high-quality education system.
Small Class Sizes
Small class sizes continue to be a priority because they help students get more individualized attention.
Everyone who works in our school system has a role in creating a high-quality education system. We are committed to the professional development of support staff to equip them with the latest knowledge and skills.
School principals and school boards are the ones who make decisions that are critical to student success. We support them in building relationships to work together and improving leadership strategies.