A message from Education Minister Gerard Kennedy to Ontario high school students

Archived Release

A message from Education Minister Gerard Kennedy to Ontario high school students

Ministry of Education

TORONTO, Jan. 23 - As Minister of Education, I know that many of you have had a hard time since you started high school, often for reasons beyond your control. High school isn't easy at the best of times, and the last few years have been particularly tough in our schools. The new curriculum and the effects of the double cohort are just two of the possible reasons. Many of the students I've talked to have told me they're worried about the right level of study to choose, how to get better marks and what they will do after high school. Some of you have said you're even thinking about dropping out and believe that no one will care. If you're one of these students, I'm asking you to hang in there. Don't give up. It's very important to me that you get your high school diploma. You need to know you are not the only high school student who's struggling. Today we released a new report that outlines the problems many students are facing. It says: - More students might not graduate from high school due to the recent changes. - A major problem is that 25 per cent of students either don't or can't make up the credits they didn't get in Grades 9 and 10; and, - Some schools don't offer courses that help you prepare for the workplace or college. Dropping out isn't a solution. There are better options for you instead. Schools, school boards, principals and teachers are already working on ways to help and more are coming. The new literacy course in Grade 12 gives you a chance to show you have the literacy skills needed to get a diploma, instead of re-writing the test again. And there are now people at every school board across the province whose job is to help you succeed and stay in school. A "student success" program (run by a "Student At-Risk Leader") is being developed at your school board to help you. Talk to your principal or call your school board office to find how to reach the right person in your board. (If you have trouble finding out, call one of our regional offices at the numbers below.) Our government is committed to doing whatever it can to help you be able to stay in school. But we need your feedback too. Why do you think some kids drop out and others stay in school? What more could be done to help you succeed in school? Let me know what you think and what you need. You can reach me at minister@edu.gov.on.ca. You deserve to have a bright future, and these days that means you need a good education. Our government isn't giving up on you or Ontario's public school system - so don't give up on yourself. Please stay in school. Ontario Ministry of Education District Offices: Barrie District Office: 705-725-7627 or toll-free 1-800-471-0713 London District Office: 519-667-1440 or toll-free 1-800-265-4221 North Bay District Office: 705-474-7210 or toll-free 1-800-461-9570 Ottawa District Office: 613-225-9210 or toll-free 1-800-225-2881 Sudbury District Office: 705-474-7210 or toll-free 1-800-461-9570 Thunder Bay District Office: 807-475-1571 or toll-free 1-800-465-5020 Toronto and Area District Office: 416-325-6874 or toll-free 1-800-268-5755 The Double Cohort Study Phase 3 Report by Dr. Alan King can be found in the "What's New" section of the Ministry of Education Website at www.edu.gov.on.ca /Note to media: Minister Kennedy will be available to news media at 10 am, Friday, January 23rd in his boardroom: 22nd Floor, Mowat Block, 900 Bay St., Toronto/ Disponible en franais For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.caFor further information: Media Contacts: Amanda Alvaro, Minister's Office, (416) 325-2632; Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709, Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514; TTY: 1-800-263-2892