Early Childhood - There are 6,918 children under age five in Prince Edward Island. We have 147 licensed early childhood centres with 5,084 licensed child care spaces, including 200 infant spaces. Child care fees range from $16 to $41 per day. The early childhood sector employs 460 people of which 57% are certified Early Childhood Educators.
Kindergarten - A child must be 5 years old by December 31 to start kindergarten and 6 years old by October 31 to start Grade 1. In 2010, the cutoff date for entry to Grade 1 will change to December 31.
Grades 1 to 12 - The public school system currently comprises Grades 1 to 12. Kindergarten will be integrated into the public school system in 2010. Elementary Grades 1 to 6, intermediate Grades 7 to 9, and high school Grades 10 to 12 are administered by three school boards including the Eastern School District, the Western School Board and La Commission scolaire de langue française.
A full school program is available for both English language and French language education. French second language courses are available in all schools with instruction beginning no later than Grade 4. Early French Immersion, Intensive French, and late French Immersion are available in some English language schools.
Enrollment - In September 2009 there were 20,148 students enrolled in Grades 1 to 12. The Eastern School District serves 12,829 students, the Western School Board serves 6,411 students, and La Commission scolaire de langue française serves 715 students. There are 193 students enrolled in private schools. Average class size has been decreasing annually due to declining enrollment. Grades 1 to 3 classes range from 17.7 to 18.5 students per class.
Instructional Time - There are between 185 and 187 school days per year, which is close to the Canadian average. Teachers are required to attend between 195 and 197 days per year. Instructional time is 4 hours and 45 minutes per day in elementary schools and 5 hours per day in secondary schools. Senior high school operates on a credit system. Each course credit consists of 110 hours of instructional time, and students require 20 credits to graduate. The pass mark is 50%.
Culture and Diversity - We are committed to providing appropriate and timely services to aboriginal and immigrant children and youth to ensure a positive early childhood and school experience. There are 88 First Nations students in our school system not including non-status, Inuit, Métis and those who do not self-identify. This school year, 59 immigrant children were registered in early learning centres and 468 were enrolled in Grades 1 to 12.
Student Assessment - Teachers measure the day-to-day performance of each student using a variety of classroom assessments. We also measure students' knowledge and mastery of the provincial curriculum at key stages of learning through large-scale common assessments. Common assessments are developed by our own teachers. They tell us how well students are learning what we expect them to learn in primary literacy at the end of Grade 3, elementary literacy at the end of Grade 6 and intermediate math at the end of Grade 9. A primary math assessment will be introduced in October 2009.
Early Intervention - Successful early identification and intervention strategies for preschool children include universal screening for neonatal hearing, the Best Start home visiting program, and enhanced speech and language screening at 18 months. Intervention programs for school age children include Reading Recovery and the Primary Literacy Intervention Program (PLIP) in English and French immersion programs.
Special Needs Support - Our Preschool Autism Program operates at capacity with 21 children. The Public School Autism Service is provided to 137 students.
School Health - Nutrition policies guide foods sold and served in elementary schools, and in school cafeterias and vending machines in intermediate and high schools. We continue to promote and support healthy eating practices through curriculum, school breakfast and snack programs, community partnerships, and other support to schools.
Funding - Capital Budget 2009-2010 includes $25 million for strategic capital investments such as school construction, school buses and facility upgrades. The operating budget is approximately $207 million.