Combatting assimilation of francophone students
The Aménagement linguistique policy introduced by the McGuinty government in 2004 is intended to address the problem of assimilation for francophone students, says Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.
"French-language school boards are now entering the implementation phase," says Wynne, "which involves acknowledging that the profile of the francophone community in Ontario is evolving and that the French-language school boards need to evolve accordingly."
The Minister addressed more than 500 educators and members of the Franco-Ontarian community at an education symposium in Ottawa in October. The three-day meeting celebrated the accomplishments of the past two years in combatting assimilation and unveiled an action plan for implementation of the Aménagement linguistique policy.
French-language school boards are introducing local policies that were formulated in collaboration with parents and community organizations. The objectives of these French-language development policies are to recruit and retain students in francophone schools, improve their oral communication skills and strengthen their cultural identity, and support teachers to enable them to deliver quality programs.
Currently, four out of every 10 students who begin their education in French-language schools in Ontario leave for anglophone schools before the end of high school.
In order to better meet the needs of newcomers, many feel that it is essential to support not only non-francophone and new Canadian parents, but the students as well, to ensure that they will be able to integrate socially and succeed at school.
For example, the Conseil scolaire public de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest has established a training program to help teachers create welcoming classrooms, support students' cultural and intercultural progress and fill literacy and numeracy gaps for under-educated students.
According to Chantal Hébert, a columnist with the Toronto Star and a guest speaker at the symposium, francophone school boards must provide services and opportunities matching those in anglophone schools if they are to keep students.
"Scholarly excellence, solid community institutions and efficient government services are all essential components if we are to ensure that the French-speaking community in Ontario can thrive," says Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages and guest speaker at the conference. "It is impossible to achieve these objectives without introducing effective language-planning policies that are developed in co-operation with Ontario's French-speaking communities."
For more information on Ontario's Aménagement linguistique policy visit www.edu.gov.on.ca.
Premier to recognize teacher excellence
The Ontario government will honour 10 outstanding educators with Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has called for nominations for awards that will honour exceptional work among the province's teachers, principals, vice-principals and education support staff in publicly funded schools.
For more information and nomination forms visit www.ontario.ca/teachingawards. Nominations are due at the end of January.
Teaching kindergarten half a world away
Gillian Lamoureux, winner of last year's Atkinson Scholarship, is settling into her first classroom in a school still under construction in the ancient city of Macau in China. At the International School (TIS), it's not just teaching that's novel. Every experience is fresh and surprising.
Lamoureux is teaching kindergarten, enjoying the first of a two-year contract. The Canadian-run school, accredited by the Alberta Ministry of Education, offers a program from pre-kindergarten to Grade 10 and will expand to Grade 12 over the next two years.
"I'm lucky," she says. "My class is quite small, 12 kids - a nice mix of local and international students with varying levels of English. I have nine boys and three girls, an energetic group. They definitely keep me on my toes."
Lamoureux and her fiancé Nick Fundytus, who teaches Grade 1, landed at TIS after exploring opportunites at the Teachers' Overseas Recruiting Fair at Queen's.
"The program looked very appealing and we asked for an interview."
The location, as well as the school, was attractive. About 70 kilometres from Hong Kong, Macau was under Portuguese control for more than 400 years and was ceded to China only seven years ago.
Lamoureux is discovering a city with a mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, languages, cuisines, architecture and arts. That's when her five-year-olds aren't tiring her out.
Lamoureux is teaching a full-day kindergarten program.
"It's a challenge but it's also nice because I have more time to go in-depth," she says. "Every day is a learning experience.
"I've always been interested in seeing other places," says Lamoureux. "There's no better time to do that than at the beginning of my career."
VISITORS: West Indies, China, Ireland, Bangladesh
Delegations visit the College to share and gather information on a range of education issues, including accreditation, qualifications and standards of practice.
OADE turns 50
The Ontario Association for Developmental Education (OADE) celebrates 50 years in 2007. Its annual conference, April 26 to 28 in Toronto, will celebrate the anniversary as well as the organization's commitment to improving education for students in Ontario with developmental challenges.
Ad revenue passes million-dollar milestone
Advertisers think you're worth a million.
The College's magazine has had a banner year in advertising. With more than $1 million in advertising revenue for 2006, Professionally Speaking - always an efficient means of reaching our members - has become even more cost-effective.
"Advertising revenue is a very important income source for the College," says College Controller Peter Brown. "It has been a significant factor in our ability to keep membership fees low."
Professionally Speaking is among the top 50 magazines in Canada in terms of circulation and the only publication that reaches all licensed teachers in Ontario.
"During our first year of publication advertising revenue was $127,000," says Philip Carter, the College's communications manager and the magazine's editor. "We've come a long way in nine short years."
"This is a high-quality publication," says publisher Richard Lewko, the College's executive co-ordinator. "We look forward to continued revenue growth in the year ahead."
With income from advertising, the annual cost per member for all four issues, including postage, is expected to drop from the $2.40 reported in 2005. That is 60 cents per issue - less than the cost of printing and mailing a letter.
For information on advertising in Professionally Speaking and Pour parler profession visit www.dvtail.com.
Careers and contests
CMA Ontario makes it happen
Certified Management Accountants of Ontario (CMA) have launched Make It Happen, a program for secondary students considering careers in business. The CMA web site provides information on how to make informed career choices and opportunities to register online for monthly $50 prizes until May 2007. Schools are eligible for a $5,000 prize. All applications must be postmarked by May 7, 2007.
For more information visit www.cma-canada.org/ontario.
chair & Vice-Chair
1 - World AIDS Day - Celebrating progress made and a call to meet remaining challenges.
2 - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
5 - International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
10 - Human Rights Day - Anniversary of UN adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Amnesty International's Canada Writeathon.
10 - International Children's Day of Broadcasting - This year's theme is Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS.
22-26 - No Name-calling Week - Tools for a dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying.
27 - Family Literacy Day - A national initiative that promotes the importance of reading and learning together as a family.
Black History Month
4-10 - White Cane Week
15 - Flag of Canada Day - The 42nd anniversary of the maple leaf flag.
19 - Heritage Day - A celebration of Canada's historic places and architectural heritage.
25-March 3 Freedom to Read Week
For other international special days, observances and events, visit www.un.org and click on Conferences & Events, to the left of the UN's 60th anniversary logo.