FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will implement several recommendations beginning in the fall put forward by the executive steering committee to improve the anglophone education sector.

“I want to thank the members of the steering committee and working groups with bringing forward these eight short-term recommendations that will improve our anglophone education system,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan. “The changes we are introducing today will have an immediate, positive impact in our schools, while laying a foundation for the long-term recommendations the steering committee will bring forward this fall.”

The committee provided a public report to the government on near-term recommendations to improve the teaching and learning experience in anglophone schools.

In response to the report and based upon its recommendations, the department will take the following actions, beginning this September:

  • To ensure well-trained and available supply teachers are in locations where they are needed, the department will work with the school districts to contract supply teachers based upon needs that have been identified in the past. These supply teachers will become part of the school staff and support other teaching and learning efforts when not filling absences.
  • To support students in acquiring the foundational skills needed for academic success, teaching positions will be added to support literacy and numeracy development in kindergarten to Grade 5.
  • To encourage positive learning environments in schools, new behaviour intervention workers will be added to the system.
  • To help teachers know their students well, a working group will be established to look at how student profiles can be developed and to begin work drafting guidelines. This is intended to support teachers in understanding their students’ learning needs and interests. This work will include looking at best practices of schools that have already successfully implemented student profiles.
  • To reduce the administrative burden for principals and resource teachers so more time can be spent supporting teachers and learners, the department will analyze the existing administrative workload.
  • To help ensure school leaders are successful in their roles, NB Lead, a leadership strategy developed in collaboration with the department, the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, school districts and the University of New Brunswick, will launch in the fall.
  • To ensure teachers have professional learning opportunities that support a positive learning environment, an online professional learning hub has been created to provide access for educators and key partners to learning opportunities. New learning modules related to de-escalation, co- and self-regulation and culturally responsive classrooms are being developed. Additionally, there will be a dedicated professional learning day for teachers on the holistic curriculum (Aug. 31) and a dedicated professional learning day for all staff on positive working and learning environments (Sept. 22).
  • To strengthen French language learning in the anglophone education system, a Centre of Excellence for Language Learning will be established. Collaboration is already underway, with a focus on developing resources and working with French language learning stakeholders to determine the vision for the centre. The Language Learning Opportunities sites will work directly within the Centre of Excellence, which will manage the process for current sites to continue with their proposals and for new sites to participate in the future.

Formed in April, the executive steering committee is composed of educators, students, the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, and other key rights and stakeholder groups. The committee established two working groups, one focused on improving the English Prime program and one focused on improving French language learning.

In May and June, these groups engaged with about 1,000 partners in education through virtual and in-person sessions and submitted recommendations to the committee.

“Witnessing citizens and organizations coming together to co-create meaningful solutions, strengthen our public education system, and provide a clear path to improve learning conditions for New Brunswick children and youth has been a privilege,” said New Brunswick Teachers’ Association executive director Ardith Shirley. “I was honoured to represent the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association as a co-chair of this executive steering committee and I respect the process and recommendations outlined in this report.”

Feedback was also received from more than 3,000 New Brunswickers through an online survey. That input has been taken into consideration for near-term recommendations and will also be used to inform long-term recommendations.

The survey, which is available in 12 languages, is still open for those who wish to provide their input.

“Building a better education system is our goal,” said Hogan. “These actions represent a positive step forward in improving the teaching and learning experience in our anglophone schools. We are grateful to all those who took the time to share their feedback and engage with us in this work.”

A set of longer-term recommendations will be made by the committee this fall.