New faces, resources await Island students this school year
Many new resources and several new staff will greet Prince Edward Island students when school opens September 6.
In particular, students will see new faces in more than 20 new principal and vice principal positions this year. More than 20 new staff will join the new Student Well-being Teams being established this year in the Bluefield, Colonel Gray, and Souris-Morell families of schools.
School psychology services also will be enhanced with the addition of four new school psychologists, four teachers, and two tech facilitators.
“A tremendous amount of work has been done over the past weeks and months to advance student achievement and well-being in the new school year,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown.
“I thank our teachers and administrative staff who develop and implement new resources to keep learning current and engaging, and who go the extra mile to ensure our schools are ready to welcome students in September.”
The 500 courses taught in public schools are based on the provincial curriculum, which defines expectations for the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected at each grade level.
In English, new curriculum is being introduced this year in grade 9 science, grades 10-12 language arts, secondary technical education, and several other areas. Among the many new resources being added this year to support the English curriculum are:
- grade 8 mental health literacy resources in all schools;
- grade 9 sexual health education resources;
- software for grades 7-12 music; and
- a large amount of new equipment to support the new trades and science curriculum such as 250 new microscopes, probeware and robotics equipment.
French first-language students will have new curriculum in Canadian history and environmental studies, as well as new math and science courses and flexible learning opportunities. French Immersion curriculum has been significantly updated in such areas as grades 4 to 6 language arts and grades 7 to 9 Core French.
French language students will benefit from several new curriculum resources such as:
- new writing standards in grades 7 and 8;
- Math Leaps and Bounds; and
- an Acadian World Congress pedagogical guide
In addition, eight English and French early literacy coaches have been hired and classroom resources will be added to support K-3 reading and writing. These resources are possible through a new $700,000 provincial early literacy plan.
For all students:
- work continues to integrate Indigenous education outcomes across all curriculum;
- digital practices and pedagogy will be supported by a new $1.5 million technology investment which has increased bandwith in schools by tenfold;
- $1 million is being invested this year to replace 2,000 Chrome Book devices in classrooms; and
- a new investment of $260,000 will expand coding programs and introduce maker carts that allow students to design, experiment and invent while learning science and engineering concepts.
Also new are many policies and guidelines that have been updated – including policies to support safe and caring learning environments, diabetes management in schools, and school athletics policies –and more than 20 new school buses arrived this summer at a cost of approximately $2 million.
The 2018-2019 school calendar is available at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-early-learning-and-culture/school-calendar-2018-2019.
Prince Edward Island schools by the numbers
- There are 62 public schools (56 English and six French)
- There are five private schools licensed to operate in the province.
- 20,523 students were enrolled in K-12 programs in 2017-18, including 19,250 students in the Public Schools Branch, 936 students in the French Language Board, and 337 in private schools (official 2018-2019 enrolment will be determined later this fall once students have settled into their schools)
- There are 1,592 full-time teaching positions in the public school system (397 educational assistants and youth service workers, and 286 school bus drivers).
New school staff
There will be new faces in several principal positions this year including:
- Natasha Bromley, Prince Street Elementary
- Maureen Cassivi, St. Jean Elementary
- Terra Doucette, Eliot River Elementary
- Tracy Ellsworth, West Kent Elementary
- Rachelle Gauthier, École St-Augustin
- Luanne Inman, Montague Intermediate
- Maria Lavoie, Gulf Shore Consolidated
- Karen Leblanc, École-sur-Mer
- Anna MacKenzie, Souris Regional
- Dale McIsaac, Morell Consolidated
New vice principals include:
- Claire Casely-Smith, Gulf Shore Consolidated
- Aletha Coady, Prince Street Elementary
- Anita Conohan, Somerset Elementary
- Tiffany Costain, Tignish Elementary
- David Costello, Greenfield Elementary
- Vanessa Dunn, Glen Stewart Primary
- Brian Guard, Westisle Composite
- Dominique Morency, École Évangéline
- Lynette MacKinnon, Westwood Primary
- Chris MacKinnon, Trevor MacNeil, Queen Charlotte Intermediate
- Melissa MacKinnon, Mt. Stewart Consolidated
- Nathalie Leclerc, École La-Belle-Cloche
- Jimmy Morris, Montague Intermediate
- Sheryl O’Hanley, Georgetown Elementary
- Roy Power, Cardigan Consolidated
- Colleen Taylor-MacMillan, Parkside Elementary
- Emily Waye, West Kent Elementary
Student well-being teams are being established this year in the Bluefield, Colonel Gray, Morell, and Souris families of schools.
- More than 20 new staff were hired over the summer to work on the teams, including bilingual employees who will serve French first language students at École La-Belle-Cloche, École St-Augustin and École Francois-Buote.
- The new teams will work out of Bluefield High School, St. Jean Elementary and Morell Regional High School.
- The annual budget for the teams will rise to $3 million this school year.
Four additional school psychologists will be working in Island schools this year, including Roland Parril, Maggie MacFarlane, Dr. Colin Campbell and Kim Lyons.
4 intervention support teachers and an assistive tech facilitator have been hired to date to help with the recommendations from the increased number of assessments.
More than 70 student psychological assessments were completed last year with the assistance of contracted psychologist services.
New school buses
More than 20 new 70-passenger school buses arrived this summer at a cost of more than $2 million.
- There are now 332 school buses in the provincial fleet.
- A new $120,000 student transportation management system will assist the Public Schools Branch to plan 600 bus routes and safely transport more than 15,000 students per day.
- The $22 million renovation of Three Oaks Senior High School will be complete in early 2019.
- Construction will continue on a $6.6 million addition at Stratford Elementary and a $5.3 million addition at L. M. Montgomery, both of which will be ready for students in September 2019.
- Planning will continue for a $5 million high school addition at Ecole-sur-Mer, and planning will begin for the $19 million replacement of Sherwood Elementary.
- The school capital repair budget nearly doubled this year to $2.9 million, enabling 32 major repair projects to be completed this summer such as paving, roof, boiler and window replacements.