Education Achievements In Barrie
Education is an important part of the Open Ontario Plan. Since 2003, the McGuinty government has made investments to strengthen Ontario's schools and help students succeed.
This support has resulted in test scores going up, class sizes in primary grades going down, and more students graduating. As a result, Barrie students are achieving greater success in school and will graduate better prepared for apprenticeships, post-secondary education or the workplace.
Ontario students are achieving higher test scores in Grades 3, 6 and 9 across the province and Ontario's graduation rate is up. It has jumped from 68 to 79 per cent since 2004.
This year over 50,000 additional Grade 3, 6 and 9 students are meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in reading, writing and math, compared to seven years ago.
For example, since 2003, significant gains were achieved in Grade 6 reading, from:
- 47 to 73 per cent at the Simcoe County District School Board - a 26 percentage point increase
- 51 to 70 per cent at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board - a 19 percentage point increase
- 58 to 77 per cent at Conseil scolaire de district du Centre Sud-Ouest - a 19 percentage point increase
- 58 to 82 per cent at Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud - a 24 percentage point increase.
For information on each school's scores, visit the EQAO website.
Full-day kindergarten provides four- and five-year-olds with the strong foundation they need for future learning. It supports student achievement and builds on the government's success in lowering primary class sizes and increasing the graduation rate.
This September the province's first 35,000 four- and five-year-olds started full-day kindergarten. More than 300 children in Barrie boards are enrolled in full-day kindergarten in 15 classes at five schools. The program provides:
- An engaging, play-based educational program during the regular school day.
- Certified teachers and registered early childhood educators working together.
- Integrated programs with before- and after-school hours designed to complement the regular school day. These are optional and are offered to parents for a reasonable fee. Boards offer the before- and after-school program based on parent demand.
Across Ontario, the province has made significant investments in school facilities that have resulted in 400 new schools built, with 100 more being planned or underway and more than 17,000 renovations and upgrades completed or underway. In the Barrie region, local boards have received about $478 million in capital funding to build new classrooms and renovate existing ones, supporting better places to learn. To date, the boards have completed or are undertaking:
- 50 window projects
- 104 roof projects
- 34 boiler projects
- 639 other major renewal projects
- 31 new schools
- 42 other major school improvement projects
In 2010-11, the Specialist High Skills Majors program expanded to help more high school students focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. The program also assists in students' transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. In total, the four Barrie school boards offer:
- 17 programs in 7 different sectors including Construction, Health and Wellness and Information and Communications Technology.
Parent Reaching Out grants are supporting school-based and regional initiatives that identify barriers to parent engagement and develop local solutions. In 2010-11, there were 17 school council grants awarded in Barrie to support student achievement by helping more parents get involved in their child's education.
SpeakUp projects are being funded across the province to support greater student engagement in learning and the school community. Projects can focus on peer mentorship, leadership, volunteerism, healthy living, equity and inclusion and multicultural initiatives. In 2009-10, there were:
- 43 schools with SpeakUp projects at the Simcoe County District School Board
- 15 schools with SpeakUp projects at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
- 20 schools with SpeakUp projects at Conseil scolaire de district du Centre Sud-Ouest
- 5 schools with SpeakUp projects at Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud