News release

Province Provides More Support for Youngest, Most Vulnerable Students

Teachers in every Grade Primary classroom are now assessing how their students fare in critical areas like physical well-being, emotional maturity, social skills and language development.

All elementary schools in Nova Scotia are using the Early Development Instrument, a measure to help schools understand and support the particular needs of their students.

Several school boards, including Tri-County and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, have piloted the instrument. This year marks the first time Primary teachers throughout the province will use it to gather information to help with their students' learning.

"As a province we have committed to improving support for young children and their families," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. "Students arrive at school with different levels of readiness.

"We have increased help for students who struggle in key subjects like math and reading, and this instrument will help schools identify where students are vulnerable and make long-term plans to address those needs."

The data will give school boards a clearer picture of the strengths and vulnerabilities in their schools and communities. School boards and the province can use this information to match curriculum, programs and resources with areas of greatest need.

Meadowfields Community School in Yarmouth used the tool for the first time last year. Principal Linda Gallagher says the results reinforce what teachers are seeing and shows the school is going in the right direction.

"It shows us how valuable it is to do things like running a breakfast program, giving Primary students a chance to play in the gym before school, and using the Play-Talk-Learn resources to help parents and children at home."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Teachers in every Grade Primary classroom are now assessing how their students fare in critical areas like physical well- being, emotional maturity, social skills and language development.

All elementary schools in Nova Scotia are using the Early Development Instrument, a measure to help schools understand and support the particular needs of their students.

Primary teachers will use it to gather information that will help students.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex says the instrument will help schools identify where students are vulnerable and make long-term plans to address those needs.

Meadowfields Community School in Yarmouth used the tool as a pilot last year. Principal Linda Gallagher says the results showed the school just how valuable things like breakfast programs and Play-Talk-Learn resources are for supporting students.

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Media Contact:

Chad Lucas
Department of Education 902-424-8307 Cell: 902-478-7302 E-mail: