McGuinty Government helping London-area students succeed

    LONDON, March 6 /CNW/ - More London-area students are achieving their
full potential thanks to three years of more relevant learning choices in high
schools and greater literacy and numeracy support, Education Minister Kathleen
Wynne said today.
    "I want to thank parents, teachers, students, principals and other
educators in London who have partnered with us to make changes with a real
impact in our local schools," said Wynne while visiting a London school.
"Working together we are reaching every student, helping them succeed in
school and better preparing them for graduation."
    "Our government is focused on helping students succeed so they have more
career and social opportunities for a lifetime," said London Fanshawe MPP
Khalil Ramal. "Rising student achievement in London is clear evidence that we
are headed in the right direction and that our communities will be stronger in
the years to come."
    Between 2002-03 and 2005-06, local Grade 3 and 6 students achieving the
provincial standard in reading, writing and math increased from 53 to
61 per cent at the Thames Valley District School Board and 61 to 67 per cent
at the London District Catholic School Board. During the same time, the pass
rate on the Grade 10 literacy test has risen from 73 to 82 per cent at the
public board and 75 to 88 per cent at the Catholic board.
    The McGuinty government has made these achievements and others possible
through an increase in education funding to the London-area boards of nearly
$99 million - or 13.8 per cent - since 2002-03. Using this investment, the
boards have been able to:

    -   Add 166 primary teachers over the past three years to reduce class
        sizes and move Ontario closer to achieving a cap of 20 students per
        primary class.

    -   Add 76 specialist elementary teachers to provide a full range of
        learning including physical education, arts, music and drama.

    -   Repair or replace 25 sets of windows, 148 roofs and 30 boilers, and
        281 other projects through the first stage of Good Places to Learn
        funding, totaling nearly $47 million.

    -   Launch a Specialist High Skills Major in construction that allows
        students to gain valuable hands-on skills in the workplace and focus
        on careers in the construction sector.

    -   Launch nine innovative Student Success Lighthouse pilot projects,
        through investments totalling $1.3 million, during the past three
        years to help high school students earn credits and return to school.
        One project offers a specialized co-operative education program that
        gives credits for paid work experience to students who returned to
        the school system after leaving before graduation.

    -   Add 79 Student Success Teachers who identify and support high school
        students who need extra help to succeed, provide more options for
        learning and monitor student progress.

    -   Reduce fees paid to use school facilities by not-for-profit community
        groups, such as the Woodstock Oxford Minor Basketball Association and
        the Western Ontario Dance group.

    -   Support Mountsfield Public School, a designated School On The Move,
        in their efforts to share effective teaching practices with schools
        across the province.

    "Our government is focused on raising the graduation rate, increasing
literacy and numeracy success, and giving our youngest students more
individual attention," added Wynne. "I'm proud that our investments and new
programs are making a real difference in the lives of students in the London

    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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Ontario Ministry of Education

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