New teachers, educators announced for Island classrooms
Supporting Island families -
More than 40 new teachers and support educators will help meet the needs of Prince Edward Island’s growing, diversifying classrooms and prepare our students to be successful lifetime learners.
The provincial government will invest $2.8 million each year to hire 41 educators to help address classroom composition, meet the needs of English as an Additional Language (EAL) students, and free-up teachers and resources. The new positions are in addition to the 27 teachers announced last spring – and who started work in Island classrooms this fall – as well as the 15 educational assistant (EA) positions hired last school year.
“This significant new investment will help all students and teachers, because hiring educators to work with newcomer students means existing teachers will have more time to focus on the needs of all students,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. “These new positions will address immediate needs and support the arrival of students throughout the school year with minimal disruption.”
The new funding will:
- reduce class size;
- address classroom composition challenges;
- add functional language programs;
- help newcomer students acquire language skills; and
- provide additional support for newcomer students with high needs; and
- provide teacher training.
The province is adding resources to ensure schools are staffed and ready to support the growing number of students enrolling in Island schools resulting from the province’s successful population growth strategy. The new positions will be targeted in Charlottetown and Stratford schools to reflect the growth experienced by these communities.
The funding is being provided by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which is responsible for immigration.
“Our growing and more diverse population bodes well for the sustainability of our province and our ability to succeed in a global economy,” said Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald. “This significant new investment will help newcomer students acquire academic language skills and integrate successfully into our schools and communities, while creating more equitable learning environments for all students.”
The $2.8 million annual investment will add the following positions:
- 10 class composition teacher positions to alleviate pressures on schools:
- 2 positions at Colonel Gray and 1 position at Charlottetown Rural to add sections in large classes
- 1 position at Queen Charlotte to add homeroom support and support for English language arts classes
- 2 positions at Spring Park to add support for English first language students
- .5 position at Stratford Elementary and a .5 position at Glen Stewart Primary to add support in English language arts classes
- 8 EAL mobile teacher positions to add Functional Language Programs at Birchwood, Stonepark, Queen Charlotte, Colonel Gray and Charlottetown Rural and provide ongoing language support
- 20 EAL Education Assistant positions to support EAL students with high needs
- 3 EAL mobile Youth Service Worker positions to support students with the transition to a new school and culture
- Materials and technology to support translation and literacy for new language learners
- Professional learning for teachers who are new to teaching new language learners
In spring 2017, government announced 27 new additional teachers would be hired. In total, 45 new teaching positions and 38 new education assistants have been hired for this school year.
Record budget for education: The 2017-2018 provincial budget includes an increase of $5.4 million for education – for a total budget of $256 million, a record high.
Island population growth: For the first time ever, Prince Edward Island’s population has surpassed 152,000 and the province is well on its way to meeting its target of 160,000 by 2020. PEI has led the Atlantic region in population growth for six of the past seven years, exceeding Canada as a whole for three of those years.
English/French as an Additional Language: The number of EAL/FAL students in PEI schools rose from 367 in 2007-2008 to 1,882 in 2017, and this growth is expected to continue. More than 90 percent of all EAL/FAL learners are located in the greater Charlottetown area.