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Backgrounder

Supports for teachers and students

June 2000

Ontario's teachers are getting the support they need to teach and students are getting the support they need to learn Ontario's new high school curriculum. 

The release of the Grades 11 and 12 curriculum now means that school boards and teachers have the core teaching material for those grades more than a year before they start delivering the new courses to students. 

Each school board is responsible for successful implementation of the new curriculum in its schools. The province will provide additional resources to ensure that teachers are prepared to help Ontario's students meet the challenge of the rigorous new program. 

Ontario's four-year plan for supporting the introduction of the new high school program was announced in March 1999 at the time of the release of the curriculum documents for Grades 9 and 10. The introduction of the new Grades 11 and 12 curriculum builds on the successful introduction of the new Grade 9 curriculum in the current school year. 

The plan introduced in March 1999 includes additional training and resources for teachers and principals. For students, there are new textbooks and learning materials and extra help for those who need it. 

There will be ongoing consultation with the education community to identify and meet priorities for supporting the implementation of the Grades 11 and 12 curriculum. A partnership of key education stakeholders was established in 1999 to ensure co-ordinated support for implementation at both the elementary and secondary levels. These partners include organizations representing teachers, parents, principals, senior school board officials and trustees. 

As part of its plan, the government is making strategic investments in quality secondary education. By the time the new curriculum is implemented in all grades at the end of the 2002-2003 school year, the government will have invested $270 million to support teachers and students. This funding is in addition to the annual grants the government provides through the student-focused funding model. 

New, up-to-date textbooks and learning materials

In the 1998-1999 school year, the province provided funding that allowed school boards to purchase more than 490,000 new textbooks and 36,000 graphing calculators for Grade 9 students. 

Similar support was provided to fund purchases for Grade 10 in the current school year. Grade 11 will receive this kind of support for 2001/2002 and Grade 12 will receive the funding for the 2002/2003 year. 

In total, Ontario has committed $100 million to the purchase and development of new high school textbooks. 

This funding is in addition to the regular annual funding that the province provides to school boards through the student-focused funding formula for the purchase of textbooks and learning materials. In 2000-2001 alone, this funding for secondary students will be an estimated $67 million. 

Extra help for students

The province is supporting summer school and other programs so students in high school, as well as students in Grades 7 and 8 who need additional assistance in preparing for high school, can get extra help to meet the challenges of the secondary program. 

The total funding for these programs over four years will be $21 million. 

Teacher training

Since March 1999, the government has provided and supported training for teachers in the new high school program. Training will continue over the four years of curriculum implementation. 

This training includes train-the-trainer sessions, summer institutes, training provided by district school boards, workshops and conferences, and training for principals and supervisory officers. To date, more than 3,700 teachers have participated in the government-funded summer institute training sessions alone. 

Professional teams have been established to co-ordinate and deliver the training. Ten district steering committees of ministry and school board staff provide training to school teams and establish networks between the school and the community. Each high school has a school team, made up of the principal or other administrator and at least four teachers, that delivers training to individual teachers in their school. By the end of June 2000, school teams from Ontario's 805 secondary schools will have participated in four major training sessions. 

At the end of the four-year implementation of the new curriculum, the government's investment in teacher training for the new high school curriculum will total $70 million. 

Resources for teachers

In addition to training, the government's plan calls for professional resources to help teachers prepare and deliver lessons based on the new curriculum and evaluate how well students are meeting the province-wide standards for learning. These resources include: 

  • sample courses of study developed through a partnership with the Council of Directors of Education and the Institute for Catholic Education. These "course profiles", designed by teachers for teachers, will help teachers develop their daily lesson plans.
  • samples of student work (known as "exemplars") to illustrate the levels of achievement defined in the curriculum. This will help teachers assess how well their students are succeeding.
  • resources such as guides to help teachers use the new, standard high school report card

Over the four years of implementing the new curriculum, the government will provide almost $80 million for professional resources for teachers. 


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