Fact Sheet - Helping Waterloo-Area Students Succeed



    TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - More students in the Waterloo area are succeeding
with the help of new programs, smaller classes and school repairs. The
McGuinty government is working with the Waterloo Catholic District School
Board and Waterloo Region District School Board to ensure more students can
reach their full potential.

    
    READING, WRITING AND MATH

    -   The number of students meeting the provincial standard (equivalent to
        a B grade) on provincewide testing increased in most assessment areas
        between 2002-03 and 2007-08. The most significant gains were achieved
        in Grade 6 writing from:
           -  53 to 64 per cent at the public board - an eleven percentage
              point increase.
           -  57 to 68 per cent at the Catholic board - an eleven percentage
              point increase.

    For information on each school's test scores, visit the EQAO website
(http://www.eqao.com/).

    CLASS SIZE

    -   Primary class sizes (JK to Grade 3) are considerably smaller compared
        to five years ago with:
           -  91 per cent of students are in classes of 20 or fewer pupils -
              a significant improvement from just 27 per cent at the Catholic
              board and 33 per cent at the public board in 2003-04.
           -  No students in classes of more than 23 pupils. In 2003-04,
              39 per cent of primary students at the Catholic board and
              33 per  cent at the public board were in classes of more than
              23 students.

    For information about class sizes in every school, visit the Class Size
Tracker (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/cst/).

    SCHOOL FACILITIES

    -   The local boards have received support in recent years to undertake:
           -  10 window projects, seven roof projects, one boiler projects
              and 64 other school improvement projects at the Catholic board.
           -  Three window projects, 24 roof projects, five boiler projects
              and 123 other school improvement projects at the public board.

    -   Schools are being built or repaired to replace facilities where
        renewal needs are almost as much as the cost of replacing the school.
        This addresses the accommodation needs for students at:
           -  Ryerson Public School in Cambridge and Floradale Public School
              in Elmira with the public board.
           -  Notre Dame Catholic School and St. Patrick Catholic School with
              the Catholic board.

    NEW PROGRAMS

    -   Specialist High Skills Majors were launched at six Waterloo-area
        schools to help high school students gain valuable hands-on skills
        and focus on future careers. Local students can now take:
           -  Health and wellness, transportation, hospitality and tourism,
              construction and manufacturing majors at the Catholic board.
           -  Arts and culture major at the public board.

    For information about which local schools offer Specialist High Skills
Major programs, visit the More Student Success website
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/SHSM.asp).

    -   Student Voice Projects are being supported to get more students
        engaged in their learning and school community. There are:
           -  13 projects at the public board including initiatives on peer
              mentorship, leadership and volunteerism.
           -  21 projects at the Catholic board including initiatives on
              healthy living, leadership and multiculturalism.

    POST SECONDARY EDUCATION

    -   The University of Waterloo's 2008-09 operating funding is more than
        $212 million, up from $131 million in 2003 - an increase of
        62 per cent. Capital funding of $3.5 million in 2008-09 was provided
        to maintain and modernize existing facilities, and expand facilities
        for graduate students.

    -   Wilfrid Laurier University's 2008-09 operating funding is more than
        $84 million, up from $42 million in 2003 - an increase of 98 per
        cent. In 2008-09, the university received more than $900,000 in
        capital funding.
    -   Conestoga College's 2008-09 operating funding is more than
        $48 million, up from $26 million in 2003 - an increase of
        85 per cent.

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                                                   ontario.ca/education-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514; TTY 1-800-263-2892

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