Public Schools

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Fewer Kids Walk Or Bike To School -- And That Hurts Everyone

More than twice as many kids are driven to school these days compared to 25 years ago, and that's having an impact on everyone. In a study released April 5 by Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's transportation planning agency, researchers found a decline among youth in the use of physically active modes of transportation to commute to school over a 25-year period. And this has huge implications for the future of Toronto.
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All BC School Districts Are Struggling -- Not Just Vancouver

The BC Liberal government cites declining enrollment for both schools closures and constant cuts to overall funding. They blame school boards for mismanaging their money, constantly insisting they just need to cut the low hanging fruit. They blame teachers for asking for too much with their salaries and class size demands, despite the fact that we have some of the lowest paid teachers and highest class sizes in Canada.
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The Skills That Only Teenagers Possess

Dear Teens: I wish that schools nurtured your creativity instead of punishing it. I wish that you were given time each day to allow your ideas to gestate. And I fervently wish that public schools were funded as a priority so that you had all the tools you needed to show us what we cannot see. It's no wonder that many of you are tired. I would be exhausted every day if I had to adjust and adapt to a new environment every hour as you do in schools.
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Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum Infringes Parents' Rights? Think Again

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

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.
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School Districts Need to Adopt Comprehensive Diabetes Policies Now

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."
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The Miseducation of Ontario's New Sex Ed Curriculum

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

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

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?
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Our Teachers Deserve Better

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.
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Prentice Dabbling with his own 'Lake of Fire'?

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?