More students will benefit this year from two high school programs that have been expanded to further challenge and engage students.
The province is expanding the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to 12 public schools, increasing accessibility for students interested in one of the world's most respected pre-university diploma programs.
The Department of Education and school boards are also introducing the Options and Opportunities program (O2)to eight additional schools, bringing to 35 the number of schools offering O2. The innovative program, which specializes in giving high school students meaningful hands-on learning that connects them with employers and the workplace, is also expanding from Grade 10 to Grade 11 in the original schools that offer O2.
"The O2 program is proving to be a huge success," said Education Minister Karen Casey. "It is having a tremendous, positive impact on students, families and schools. Student attendance and grades have improved, and principals are reporting that students are developing improved self-esteem and self-confidence."
Nova Scotia's IB schools will offer the diploma program to more than 400 Grade 11 students beginning this month.
"I am very excited. This is going to open up a lot of opportunities for me," said Stuart Moore, one of 50 Grade 11 students enrolled in IB at Citadel High School. "It will be a challenge, but I am quite looking forward to it."
The IB diploma program is an internationally recognized, advanced liberal arts program designed for ambitious students in grades 11 and 12. The diploma emphasizes critical thinking and analysis, writing and oral communication, creativity, community service, sophisticated reading skills and an understanding of global issues.
Students across the province will also benefit this year from more healthy food and beverages in school cafeterias and vending machines. The second phase of the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Public Schools begins this month as schools increase amount of food and beverages of maximum nutrition to menus.
There will also be stricter rules around school-based fund-raising drives involving food. Fundraising organized by, and through, schools will centre only on items of maximum or moderate nutrition.
It will also be a busy year for students writing provincial mathematics and literacy assessments. The province continues to measure the progress of elementary-age students, introducing a new Early Language Literacy Assessment in Grade 3, to be written at the end of this month.
The assessment, which will be given to more than 9,000 students, will give teachers reliable information on how each student is doing in reading and writing, and where additional support might be needed. Grade 6 and Grade 9 students will also write literacy assessments in the fall and spring, respectively. The Early Elementary Mathematical Literacy Assessment will again be administered to Grade 3 students in June.
Other highlights include a pilot of an English 12 course focusing on African heritage, a new Grade 7 French language arts and social studies curriculum, and expansion of the Parents as Career Coaches program.
About 135,000 students and more than 13,000 teaching and support staff will be returning to school this week.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
The Department of Education and school boards are expanding
two high school programs to further challenge and engage
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program will be
introduced to 10 new schools, which will increase accessibility
to students interested in one of the world's most respected pre-
university diploma program. The IB will be offered at 12 high
schools this year.
The Options and Opportunities Program, also called O2 (Oh-
Two), will expand by eight schools to 35. The innovative program,
which specializes in giving high school students meaningful
hands-on learning that connects them with employers and the
workplace, is also expanding from Grade 10 to Grade 11 in the
original O2 schools.
Other highlights include the second stage of the three-year
phase-in for the provincial public school food and nutrition
policy, a new provincial literacy assessment for Grade 3
students, and piloting of a new English 12 course focusing on
About 135,000 students and more than 13,000 teaching and
support staff will be returning to school this week.
Media Contact: Peter McLaughlin
Department of Education
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgVersion française