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November 19, 2008
For immediate release

Report Outlines Progress to Improve Student Achievement

Education and Early Childhood Development

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan tabled a report today in the Legislature that highlights recent progress by the education system to improve student achievement.

The report outlines activities developed in response to the recommendations of the Task Force On Student Achievement. These include many initiatives to help Grades 1 to 3 students develop good literacy skills and a strong foundation for later learning.

Literacy coaches are working in elementary schools to help classroom teachers identify and address the diverse literacy needs of students. These coaches are teachers with specialized knowledge and training in the best early literacy practices.

All primary schools have access to many new classroom resources that help Grades 1 to 3 students learn to read and write.

A new Primary Literacy Intervention Program is being introduced for Grades 2 and 3 students who can benefit from intensive short-term literacy interventions. Through this program a specially trained teacher works intensively with a group of four students for 20 to 25 consecutive days. At the end of this period, students are able to work at grade level and function productively in school. They are also able to maintain the gains they made in the program and continue to progress within the regular classroom.

The report also highlights several innovative new math initiatives.

A new math curriculum, now being piloted in Grades 1, 4 and 7, has a strong focus on the fundamentals of math.

New resources have been added to support an increased emphasis on mental math in the elementary grades.

High school students have access to a new Applied Math course that focuses on essential mathematical skills used in trades-related careers.

Data from two full provincial common assessments of Grade 9 math are now available to help improve achievement in math.

Parents are participating in efforts to help children develop strong early numeracy skills through Family Math Nights taking place at several schools.

“As a result of these many efforts, we are making significant progress in several of the key areas that influence student achievement,” said Minister Greenan. “This has required a great deal of energy and commitment on the part of teachers, staff of the school boards and the department, and parent and professional groups. With this tremendous collaborative effort, students now have many more opportunities to succeed.”

The progress report is available online at

Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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