The success of students is our government’s central focus and principal concern for families across Ontario. As a father of 5, all under 13, it is paramount to my family as well. With the start of the new school year, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify the record for the constituents of Kitchener-Conestoga.
Our Government is strengthening and modernizing our education system to better help students reach their full potential and prepare them for their future careers with transferrable life skills.
That is why we are investing $700 million more over the next three years on education province-wide, with key investments for our local students.
Specific investments for the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) include $871,859 more for the School Foundation Grant for principals, vice principals and office support staff, $1,384,393 more for the Special Education Grant for special education supports, equipment and supplies, and $1,486,544 more for the Student Transportation Grant.
For the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB), investments include $621,805 more for the School Foundation Grant, $1,495,491 more for the Special Education Grant, $ 1,277,278 more for the Language Grant for supporting students who need extra help learning English or French either as new Canadians or a first language.
We are also providing students with an updated and modern curriculum, and tools to succeed. This includes a new Careers Curriculum that features a more comprehensive focus on financial literacy, a new four-year Math Strategy designed to get back to basics, and doubling the mental health supports in class.
We have also enhanced the Health and Physical Education curriculum with an increased focus on mental health awareness, concussions, healthy body image, cybersecurity, and bullying.
Furthermore, our reforms to class sizes will amount to a provincial average of 22.5 kids in grade 9-12 classrooms this school year, compared to 22 last year. It is also important to remember our youngest students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will see no increase in class size, and Grades 4 to 8 will see up to one additional student in the classroom this year.
I look forward to continuing to provide parents and students the facts and to stand on their side as we work to ensure that students live up to their full potential, have the best education available, and the brightest future.