Policy/Program Memorandum No. 137

Date of Issue: June 27, 2005

Effective: Until revoked or modified

Subject: USE OF ADDITIONAL TEACHER RESOURCES TO SUPPORT STUDENT SUCCESS IN ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Application: Directors of Education
Secretary/Treasurers of School Authorities
Principals of Secondary Schools

Reference: This memorandum revokes and supersedes section 5.1 of Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999, and modifies section 7.2 with respect to the teacher-adviser program; revokes the section entitled "The Teacher-Adviser Program" in Choices Into Action: Guidance and Career Education Program Policy for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999; revokes Policy/Program Memorandum No. 126, "Implementation of the Teacher-Adviser Program and Use of the Term 'Co-Instructional Activities'", July 27, 2000; and revokes the section "Teacher Adviser Program" in Business Memorandum 2001:B11, July 16, 2001.


Introduction

The purpose of this memorandum is to assist school boards1 in allocating additional secondary school teachers to increase secondary school students� success, as measured by increased credit accumulation in Grades 9 to 12, improving graduation rates (especially four-year graduation rates), and decreasing dropout rates; and to enhance support to enable secondary students who are struggling to succeed to receive more individual attention. It is the ministry�s expectation that student success will be the overarching priority for board decisions on staff plans for the additional teaching positions that are being funded by the province.

The Teacher-Adviser Program

Effective immediately, schools are no longer required to establish a teacher-adviser program, as defined in sections 5.1 and 7.2 of Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 (OSS) and in the section entitled "The Teacher-Adviser Program" in Choices Into Action: Guidance and Career Education Program Policy for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999. The intended purpose of the teacher-adviser program was to ensure that students receive personal attention and encouragement, and this continues to be an important goal in education programming decisions at all levels of the system. Strong student-teacher relationships are critical to student engagement, achievement, and success, particularly for students who are struggling to succeed.

It is the intention of the Ministry of Education to recommend to the government that it introduce legislative changes to the Education Act, revoke Ontario Regulation 274/01, and make the necessary amendments to the 2005-06 Grants for Student Needs – Legislative Grants Regulation to effect these changes regarding the teacher-adviser program. The goals of the teacher-adviser program are still worthwhile. If changes to the legislation are passed, it is expected that these goals will be met in the future, in part, through individual and small-group student mentoring and advocacy as alternative duties, and, in part, through the additional dedicated secondary staff for Student Success, as outlined below.

It continues to be of critical importance for all students, and particularly those who are at risk of not graduating, that boards and schools provide comprehensive and effective guidance and career education programs and support to students, as outlined in Choices Into Action.

Responsibilities of Boards

OSS sets out the goals for, and policy and program requirements governing, secondary education in the province. These include the expectation that the secondary program will prepare students for further education and work, promote a high standard of achievement, and provide all students with the learning opportunities and support they need, including support for students at risk. As set out in section 8.2, school boards are responsible for "reviewing the allocation of resources to determine appropriate support for the implementation of the secondary school policies and programs". This memorandum provides additional information for boards to use in making such determinations with respect to the additional dedicated secondary staff for Student Success, funded by the ministry beginning in 2005-06.

The ministry recognizes that such factors as geography and demographics have an impact on decisions about how to use resources. Boards are in the best position to determine how to deploy staff funded through the current student grant structure. However, boards are expected to use the additional secondary education resources for Student Success provided by the ministry to improve student success through the following eligible uses:

  • assignment of Student Success teachers who know and track the progress of students at risk of not graduating; who support school-wide efforts to improve outcomes for students struggling with the secondary curriculum; who re-engage early school leavers; who provide direct support/instruction to these students in order to improve student achievement, retention, and transitions; and who work with parents2 and the community to support student success. These teachers may be assigned to areas such as alternative education, cooperative education, guidance, and learning resource centres.
  • improved program availability for students, through the offering of more sections in the following courses/programs: locally developed compulsory credit courses, applied courses, workplace preparation courses, college preparation courses, learning strategies courses, career-related senior course packages (e.g., in building construction, hospitality), English as a second language/English Literacy Development (ESL/ELD) and l'actualisation linguistique en français/le perfectionnement du français (ALF/PDF) courses, guidance courses related to cooperative education, and alternative programs, including credit recovery (especially for Grades 9 and 10)
  • distribution of additional teachers among the board's secondary schools on the basis of student needs
  • appropriate teacher assignments to strengthen student success

Reporting Requirements

Beginning in 2005–06, each school board will be required to report on their use of additional teaching staff and the achievement of improved student results on their Annual Student Success Action Plan and Report. These reports will be required in addition to any other reporting that will be required by the Ministry of Education through its business processes, including related financial reporting requirements associated with the new teaching resources that will be defined as part of the annual education-funding grant-regulations process and a related business memorandum.

1. Under the Education Act, board means a district school board or a school authority.
2. In this document, parent(s) refers to parent(s) and guardian(s).