09/03/2013 10:59 EDT | Updated 11/03/2013 05:12 EST

Nova Scotia government wants input from parents, teachers on report cards

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's education minister says she is interested to hear from parents and teachers before the end of the month on how to improve the language used in report cards.

Ramona Jennex said Tuesday she was concerned after she heard earlier this summer from parents who said they weren't satisfied with how report cards were written.

At the end of the last school year, some parents complained that the report cards contained too much jargon and didn't shed light on how students were faring.

"It's important to know how your child is doing in school, so I was very concerned when I heard from parents that they were not happy with report cards this spring," Jennex said in a statement. "Report cards need to be clear, helpful and accessible for all parents. I'm listening and I want to hear more from parents."

Jennex also reiterated plans to give nearly 300 Grade 7 students in four schools tablets, portable computers or other devices to help them learn math starting this month.

The $1-million cost of the pilot project, announced in June, will be split between the government and a number of Nova Scotia businesses.

The government also announced it is extending a program that helps young pupils with reading to Grade 3. The program called Succeeding in Reading provides students who need more support with a literacy teacher who works with the child and the classroom teacher.

"Data show that Succeeding in Reading is helping students who need additional support in their reading and is helping more students than ever before," Jennex said. "Expanding it to Grade 3 will help even more students."

Extending the program to Grade 3 will cost $6 million over two years.

Liberal education critic Karen Casey said Tuesday's announcements, which included a phased-in plan for a new math curriculum, was driven by the NDP trying to repair damage it has done to the education system through spending cuts before an election.

"The NDP continue to show that they are more focused on flashy announcements than creating a modern, world-class education system for our children," she said in a statement.