News Release Archive

As more than 163,000 Nova Scotia students return to school this
week, Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison predicts an
exciting year ahead. From new teachers, to new programs and
curriculum, to new schools --school boards have more than $14
million in increased funding this year, and they're using it to
support the classroom.

"Parents have high expectations for their children," Mr. Harrison
said. "Now with a bit more money to spend, school boards are
doing an exceptional job of meeting these expectations by
supporting students and teachers in the classroom."

In partnership with school boards, work is under way to begin
reducing class sizes. Projects to promote safe, peaceful schools
are already being put into action across the province.

In partnership with our Atlantic neighbours, Nova Scotia is
building a world-class curriculum, resulting in a new language
arts Primary-12 program being introduced in classrooms this year. 
As well, high school students will now take fine arts as part of
their graduation requirements, complementing courses in
mathematics, science, technology, language arts and social

Other new programs being introduced include African Canadian
Studies, Mi'kmaq Studies, and Atlantic Canada and the Global
Community. New French immersion programs are also being added or

Meeting the individual needs of students will be emphasized. More
emphasis and support will also be focused at junior high, with
schools and teachers sharing best ideas and practices on how to
support students during the critical middle years. For students
with special needs at all grades, a team approach to individual
program planning has been adopted.

Program changes (e.g., more co-operative education,
school-to-work programs, entrepreneurship education) are also
being made to support comprehensive high schools that meet the
interests and abilities of all students.

Schools and boards are also embracing new technology. Just
yesterday the final school to be linked to the Internet in the
Annapolis Valley Regional School Board went online, making this
board the first completely connected school region in North
America. The Cape Breton-Victoria, Strait and Chignecto-Central
regional school boards are also participating in an innovative
technology recycling project.

Preparing for these and other programs, almost 900 teachers spent
part of their summer increasing their knowledge and skills at
summer institutes. Topics included areas such as distance
education, drama, mathematics, entrepreneurship, and multimedia
and other software. As an example of a board initiative, the
Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are training principals and
staff on new student-centred learning strategies, including
strategies on student responsibility, interpersonal
relationships, collaboration and self-esteem. 

Parent and community involvement in schools is growing, with
advisory councils in progress or in place in more than 250
schools. Southwest Regional School Board is leading the way, with
councils in place or in progress in all of their schools.

"I'd like to see advisory councils in every school by the end of
the year," Mr. Harrison said. A provincial conference in November
will focus on the link between schools and their communities,
with one theme being the role that parents and students can play
as advisory council members.

The province's first elementary technology-rich school built
through public-private sector partnerships is opening its doors
in Porters Lake-Lake Echo. Three other new schools --Hebbville
Academy, Bible Hill-Valley Middle (mid-year) and the first
French-language school in Truro --are also slated to open this

"I look forward to announcing more school construction projects
later this fall," the minister said.

"School is about more than learning," Mr. Harrison reminded
students. "It's also about new friends, fun and new experiences.
I want to wish all students and your teachers a safe and happy
school year!"


Contact: Donna MacDonald
         Education and Culture

NOTE TO EDITORS: Specific examples of "safe school projects,"
mentioned in paragraph 3, are available for each region. School
boards have also compiled some "first week of school" story
ideas. Please call the school board communications officers
directly or Donna MacDonald at the above number.

ngr                 September 3, 1997                   3:20 pm