October 14-20, 2018, is Education Week in Saskatchewan. For more than 30 years, Saskatchewan has dedicated one full week every year to celebrate student success and recognize the dedication and commitment of education professionals across the province.
The 2018-19 school year welcomed nearly 190,000 PreK-12 students, more than 21,000 teachers and staff, in more than 770 schools across Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions.
This year’s Education Week theme – A World of Learning for Every Student – recognizes the multiple pathways to learning being made available to our students. It also highlights the important roles our educators play each and every day in broadening the horizons and enriching the lives of Saskatchewan students.
Within the Ministry of Education, innovation and renewal are taking place in a number of areas. Curriculum renewal is ongoing and will ensure we have a modernized education system that meets the needs of today’s students.
New instruction in coding and robotics and financial literacy are creating new opportunities for students, offering them more choices after they graduate and better preparing them for the future with its changing economy and advancing technologies.
In classrooms across the province, teachers continue to inspire many student-led projects that contribute to a healthy society. There are many examples of Saskatchewan students who are actively engaged in their learning and coming up with various initiatives in everything from peer counselling and mentorship to mental health, anti-bullying, and student well-being.
For example, in 2017-18, Wolseley resident Avery Young-Lee, a Grade 12 student at Bert Fox Community High School, was worried that some of the students in her school were not getting proper nutrition due to inadequate breakfast.
Young-Lee was inspired through a Leadership 30 class and discussed the idea of creating a Breakfast Club that could be sustained by students, with her teacher. Before long, she was helping to supply breakfast pizza, sandwiches, smoothies, and French toast bake to her classmates and teachers. All the food was made fresh, from ingredients provided by local farmers and grocers. Through recipe collection, ingredient lists, and financial tracking, the program was passed to other students to continue upon her graduation.
Thanks to this initiative, Young-Lee won a $70,000 TD Scholarship for her leadership, entrepreneurship, and community service. She was one of 20 students across Canada who received the scholarship in 2018, covering four years of tuition and living expenses for her post-secondary education.
Preparing students for future success is at the heart of Saskatchewan’s education system. The goals outlined in the Education Sector Strategic Plan are tied to ensuring each of these students reach their full potential.
The positive results can be seen in improved reading levels in which the latest data show 75 per cent of Grade 3 students are now reading at or above grade level, compared to 65 per cent in 2013. This progress is translating into inspiring achievements and innovative student-driven initiatives throughout the province.