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2016 Back to School Message from Minister Hunter

September 5, 2016

School's back in session, and as millions of Ontario's students return to the classroom, and as educators across this province return to doing what they do best, I cannot be more thrilled about the year ahead.

This is my first back-to-school as Ontario's Minister of Education, and as someone who believes in the potential of every child in our system, as school bells ring out, part of me wants to join the over two million students heading to school on Tuesday.

They're walking into classrooms filled with boundless opportunity. They're walking down hallways that have seen repairs completed all summer long because we invested in those schools to make them better. They're going to experience Ontario's renewed math strategy and 60-minutes a day of math taught by passionate educators who know the importance numeracy has in our rapidly changing world.

But I'm also excited for kids to be kids. For the learning to take place and the limitless potential of every child to be revealed to them, one lesson, one track-and-field meet, one assembly, one school play, at a time.

Parents should be proud of their kids. It's a competitive world they're preparing to enter, and our schools are the places they go to get the skills necessary to face it head on. Children have access to information like no other time in our history, the possibilities are endless. Please never stop encouraging your children to reach higher, work harder and dream bigger.

I believe that education fosters a community and builds a nation. I know that our province's most valuable resource is our people.

With school now in session, we must continue to build on our successes by working collaboratively across the education system with all our partners to stay focused on our priorities and our shared goals.

We all care about boosting student achievement, improving student well-being and finding innovative ways to strengthen supports for students to achieve excellence. Turning around our math scores with our new math strategy is important to all of us, just as it is to continue strengthening our results in literacy -- reading and writing. And I care deeply about finding the right ways we can all help close the achievement gap so that every student in every community in every classroom never feels greatness is beyond their reach.

I wish everyone the most success this school year. I know it's going to be an incredible year.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education