Public Schools

How to Avoid the Destructive Impacts of Competition at School

Kourosh Houshmand | Posted 09.18.2015 | Canada Living
Kourosh Houshmand

So next time you're in the cafeteria comparing grades, or you're hearing about all the amazing internships your friends are getting, think to yourself two things: other peoples' successes are often not as glamorous as they self-describe, and secondly, do your own thing.

Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum Infringes Parents' Rights? Think Again

Misha Abarbanel | Posted 09.13.2015 | Canada Parents
Misha Abarbanel

The backlash against Ontario's new health curriculum has left many people confused. Is it radical? Are fundamental parental and religious rights being undermined? All parents want to protect their children, but opponents of sex education are inadvertently doing the opposite. Denying children accurate and inclusive information about their bodies, human relationships and sexuality is not protective; it is irresponsible. Without such information, children are unable to care for themselves and grow into healthy and responsible adults.

7 Back to School Tips From a Kid Like You

Hannah Alper | Posted 09.04.2015 | Canada Parents
Hannah Alper

A new school year is just a few days away and while I love summer (and I had a really great one) I'm really looking forward to going back to school. A new year at school is when you get a fresh start. You can put last year behind you and you get to try new things and do things differently.

School Districts Need to Adopt Comprehensive Diabetes Policies Now

Jan Hux | Posted 08.17.2015 | Canada Parents
Jan Hux

Most students can manage their diabetes independently or with minimal support, and they can fully participate in school activities, including gym, field trips and celebrations. However, some, especially very young children with type 1 diabetes, may need trained personnel to help administer insulin, monitor blood sugar levels or supervise food intake and activity. Students with diabetes may also need flexibility in school rules to prevent low or high blood sugar, and, in some cases, may also need help with recognizing "lows" and "highs."

B.C. Needs to Value Parents' Opinions on Public Education

Sarah Miller | Posted 05.22.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Sarah Miller

B.C.'s Charter for Public Education is a public owned document, which stands as a testament to everything we as a community want and expect from our public school system. It is a document long forgotten somewhere between the never ending war against our public schools, funding cuts and dragged out court cases.

The Miseducation of Ontario's New Sex Ed Curriculum

Faisal Kutty | Posted 05.21.2015 | Canada Politics
Faisal Kutty

The curriculum is aimed at preparing kids to navigate the complicated interpersonal and sexual situations in today's hyper-sexualized world. But opponents have latched on to a number of provisions. It should be clearly understood that the new curriculum is not a "How to Manual" and that the state is not promoting a particular relationship structure. Ultimately, the government must do a better job of convincing some parents that it is responding to the changing realities. All stakeholders must feel that at least some of their concerns are heard and validated.

Almost No One From My Son's Class Came to His Birthday Party and it Broke My Heart

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

"It is with sadness that we will have to decline the birthday party invitation for your son," one mother wrote me, "as such short notice was given." I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Again. You see, my son Casey has autism, and I had been busily planning all the arrangements for his seventh birthday party for weeks. I wanted to tell her, in earnest, that I had tried, I really tried, to get it right this time.

Pulling Kids Out of New Sex-Ed Classes Will Only Breed Fear and Hate

Shahla Khan Salter | Posted 05.27.2015 | Canada Living
Shahla Khan Salter

Under the new curriculum, nay-saying parents have the option of pulling their kids out of sex-ed class. But should they? As a fellow parent of three children in the Ontario public education system, I say no. You can pull your kids out of sex-ed. And maybe one day you will also pull them out of classes that teach about climate change and evolution. Perhaps you don't trust the teacher who might be gay and so you find a way to pull your kids out of his or her class. You are teaching your kids to run from what they fear and instill in them hatred of others. Isn't it better to arm them with knowledge, teach them to respect differences and then trust them?

Our Teachers Deserve Better

Malkin Dare | Posted 05.20.2015 | Canada Living
Malkin Dare

Canadian teachers love their students and want only the best for them. Our teachers work very hard and conscientiously, but often their best efforts are thwarted by a system that fails to give them adequate training, assigns them to teach subjects they aren't qualified to teach, micromanages their teaching methods and materials, and largely ignores their input. Canadian teachers are not getting the support they need and deserve. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how four other countries support their teachers' professionalism and give them a voice.

What Makes Teachers Great? We Care

Lori Gard | Posted 04.04.2015 | Canada Living
Lori Gard

I am not talking about setting a bar for best using either personality or teaching style as criteria. What I am maintaining here is that bringing your BEST SELF to work means bringing the self that cares.

Why Canada Is Lagging Behind When it Comes to Child Health

Nicole Letourneau | Posted 03.15.2015 | Canada Living
Nicole Letourneau

Something is amiss in Canada. A 2014 UNICEF report compared the health and development of children in Canada with 28 other wealthy nations. In spite of being a G8 country, Canada's children rank number 17th, a status that has not budged in the last 10 years. The question is, why are these problems still so widespread?

Press On, Teachers: For When We Need Reminding

Lori Gard | Posted 03.01.2015 | Canada Living
Lori Gard

I remind myself that as a teacher, I need to give myself permission to be a human. To make mistakes. To feel pain. To be a real live person with ISSUES and STRUGGLES and HEARTACHES and SORROW. We as teachers don't completely check our lives at the door when we come to school.

Prentice Dabbling with his own 'Lake of Fire'?

Todd Herron | Posted 01.31.2015 | Canada Alberta
Todd Herron

If the "Lake of Fire" fiasco that cost the Wildrose the last election is any indication, Albertans overwhelmingly vote against a party that smells of promoting homophobia, so there is no need to seek a "safe middle ground" on this wedge issue. In fact, the "middle ground" is not so politically safe for right wing parties. In two years, it will be far less safe. So why is Prentice talking tough but actually equivocating on an issue for which he clearly has overwhelming public support?

It's Time To Stop Black And Orange Day And Let Schools Celebrate Halloween

Buzz Bishop | Posted 12.30.2014 | Canada
Buzz Bishop

So when the traditional North American holidays roll around, don't expect me to sanitize them. I don't expect my brother-in-law to dial down Hannukah thinking I'd find it offensive. I don't expect my mayor to skip Eid because I don't celebrate it. I look forward to the Chinese New Year parade and so do my kids. They shouldn't stop it because I'm not Chinese.

This World Teachers' Day: Reflecting on the Power of a Great Teacher

Jennifer Pellegrini | Posted 12.04.2014 | Canada Living
Jennifer Pellegrini

Mrs. Szathmary's patience with those of us for whom sports didn't come naturally was endless. She would examine gymnastic routines over and over and over again, offering guidance, support and recommendations on how to do it just a little bit better. Have you had a teacher who changed your life?

Six Ways to Get Your Child Excited for the School Year

Dr Dina Kulik | Posted 10.20.2014 | Canada Living
Dr Dina Kulik

Some parents, my husband and I included, are eager to ship their kid off to school. But some children need more time to get in the proper mindset of heading back to the classroom. I think with the right preparation most kids can feel eager to head back to the schoolyard. Here are some tips for parents and kids alike to get excited about the school year.

How To Prepare for Back To S̶c̶h̶o̶o̶l̶ Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.17.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

The complaints of a cold, the dread of diarrhea, and vexation of vomiting are all part of a child's growing up process. But one of the keys to a happy school year is to have these unfortunate events happen as infrequently as possible. For that, kids have to be hygienic and stay that way.

Size Matters When it Comes to Classroom Numbers, Hudak

Murtaza Haider | Posted 08.08.2014 | Canada Politics
Murtaza Haider

Research in pedagogy shows that children learn much better in smaller classrooms. Tim Hudak, if elected, has promised to increase classroom sizes and the student-teacher ratios. The Ontario elections could very well be a vote on the learning outcomes for millions of school-going children. Tim Hudak, the leader of the Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, is campaigning to increase the classroom size by two to three students and the student-teacher ratio, in addition to numerous other proposed cuts to the Ontario's education system. This may require parents to learn more about learning before they vote on June 12.

Alberta's $2 Billion Plan For Building Schools

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Alberta

EDMONTON - Alberta's top infrastructure bureaucrat says the province still plans to build 50 new schools by the spring of 2016, even though no ground ...

5 Ways To Ensure Our Kids Graduate

Lucy Miller | Posted 07.13.2014 | Canada Alberta
Lucy Miller

Last week, the Alberta government announced school completion rates are on the rise province-wide. It's great news - and now we have an opportunity to build on this success.

Why Are Canadian Kids So Stressed Out?

Stuart Shanker | Posted 06.10.2014 | Canada Living
Stuart Shanker

When a child's stress levels are too high various systems for thinking and metabolic recovery are compromised. The signs of when this is happening show up in the child's behaviour, or mood, or attention, or for that matter, physical well-being. Canadian children are dealing with far too much stress today.

Why We Must Teach Our Kids to Be "Culturally Bilingual"

Amira Elghawaby | Posted 05.31.2014 | Canada Politics
Amira Elghawaby

The fact is our student populations are becoming more diverse, though that's barely mirrored in the staff make-up of most urban schools. And while there is recognition of a need to hire teachers that better reflect the student population, reaching that goal remains a long way off considering the comparably low number of teachers who self-identify as visible minorities. In the meantime, we need to foster culturally sensitive and inclusive schools where student engagement leads to higher graduation rates, the de-glamorization of gangs, and the nurturing of productive citizens of all backgrounds.

When Teachers Choose Love

Lori Gard | Posted 05.19.2014 | Canada Living
Lori Gard

It's almost recess and I am urging the children to put away their snacks so as to ready for the recess bell. The students start slowly stowing their l...

Why I Work to Keep Smokestacks Away From Schoolyards

Carl Duivenvoorden | Posted 05.10.2014 | Canada Impact
Carl Duivenvoorden

I was raised on a dairy farm in Belledune, a small community on New Brunswick's North Shore. By the time I showed up to school in the fall of 1968, the schoolhouse was bordered by a smelter on one side and a fertilizer plant on the other. I started hearing a little voice inside me saying, "Do something!"

Can Metadata Solve Washroom Graffiti?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 05.02.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

Instead of reassuring yourself that since you have nothing to hide, collection of metadata won't reveal anything interesting about you, ask your children how they feel about the proposed washroom math lesson. Then you can both stand up for your rights.