TORONTO, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - Elementary school teachers are launching a
campaign today to underline the harmful effects on young adolescents resulting
from the Upper Canada District School Board's proposal to transfer grade 7 and
8 students to high schools.
Newspaper and radio ads, billboards, mailed brochures, and a website
(protectourkids.ca) deliver the message that elementary schools offer a better
and safer learning environment for young adolescent children, an environment
less open to bullying and more closely connected to the local community.
While moving grade 7 and 8 students into secondary schools might be a
cost-effective way of addressing declining enrolment and keeping the secondary
schools open, young adolescent students will pay the price, warned Elementary
Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President David Clegg.
"It's just plain wrong," said Clegg. "The young students will spend more
time on school buses, face the pressure of older, more mature students, and
lose the many benefits that can only be provided by elementary schools.
"The Upper Canada District School Board has offered no evidence that this
accommodation plan will improve student learning for grades 7 and 8. That
should always be their priority."
Clegg explained that academic research suggests that young adolescents do
better in elementary schools.
"Students from age 10 to 15 show gains in mathematics, language, and
reading when they attend small schools with lower student-teacher ratios and
shared teaching - all factors more common in elementary schools," he said.
ETFO is urging concerned parents of young adolescents to make their views
known by speaking out at School Board public meetings and contacting school
board officials listed on the ETFO Campaign website protectourkids.ca.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 70,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
For further information:
For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)