News release

Student Access to Services, After School Programs Expands

An expanding initiative will help hundreds more students and families access health services, learning resources and after-school programs.

Students and staff at Hillside Park Elementary School in Lower Sackville joined Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex today, June 19, to announce six new sites for the SchoolsPlus program. SchoolsPlus helps students receive the supports they need to thrive in school. One of the new sites will be in the Sackville High family of schools.

"SchoolsPlus is a successful model that helps students, families and communities get a full range of support services in the heart of their communities, their schools," said Ms. Jennex. "Through SchoolsPlus, students have access to mental health clinicians in schools, homework clubs and mentoring, and after school programs that weren't available before."

Every school is different, but those in SchoolsPlus work together to co-ordinate and deliver more than a hundred services and activities across the province.

"I feel like we are finally heading in the right direction in working towards closing the gap between home, school and services," said Lori Andrews, parent and outreach worker with Juniper House in Digby. "SchoolsPlus provides for the real needs of students and families. I experienced this first-hand when my daughter was experiencing difficulties at school and SchoolsPlus provided a safe space as well as support."

The External Review of the Halifax Regional School Board's Support of Rehtaeh Parsons and the province's Speak Up Action Plan To Address Bullying and Cyberbullying Behaviour both recommended SchoolsPlus be expanded. The province continues to establish new SchoolsPlus sites each year.

SchoolsPlus, part of the Kids and Learning First plan, encourages collaboration between government, school boards and agencies to ensure students have a place to go for help, in a familiar environment.

It brings a range of mental health services and other health programs together with mentoring, homework support, social work, and justice services into schools where children, youth and families can easily access them.

The other SchoolsPlus sites approved for 2013-14 are:

  • Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, with a hub site at Windsor Elementary School, serving the West Hants family of schools.
  • Tri-County Regional School Board, with a hub site at Barrington Municipal High School, serving its feeder schools with possible expansion in Shelburne County.
  • Strait Regional School Board, with a hub site at St. Andrew Junior High School, serving five other schools.
  • Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, with completion of hub sites in the southwest and northeast regions of the board. The new and expanded sites will open in the fall.

"We are thrilled that the SchoolsPlus program is coming to Sackville," said Karla Wolfe, principal of Hillside Park Elementary School. "SchoolsPlus will provide more opportunities for support and involvement, and address gaps that sometimes exist when trying to connect families with the appropriate services and support."

Two more SchoolsPlus sites have been approved for 2014–15 in:

  • Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, with a hub site at Glace Bay High School, supporting six more schools
  • Chignecto Central Regional School Board, with a hub site at New Glasgow Junior High, supporting four schools.

Boards will be invited to make submissions for expansion in the spring of 2014.

SchoolsPlus sites serve more than 135 schools and are available in all eight school boards. For more information, visit http://schoolsplus.ednet.ns.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The SchoolsPlus program is being expanded to help hundreds more students and families access health services, learning resources and after-school programs.

Students and staff at Hillside Park Elementary School in Lower Sackville joined Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex today (June 19th), to announce six new sites for the SchoolsPlus program.

Ms. Jennex says SchoolsPlus is a successful model that Helps students, families and communities access to mental health clinicians in schools, homework clubs and mentoring, and after school programs that weren't available before.

Besides the Sackville High family of schools, the other SchoolsPlus sites approved for 2013-2014 are Windsor Elementary Barrington Municipal High and St. Andrew Junior High schools as well as the completion of hub sites in the southwest and northeast regions of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. The new and expanded sites will open in the fall.

Glace Bay High and New Glasgow Junior High have been approved for 2014-2015.

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Media Contact:

Michelle Lucas
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