August 22, 2019

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Changes await for new school year

Revisions aplenty to policies, pay

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/9/2013 (2179 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Wow, kids, what a whiz-bang of an exciting school year you're about to start.

Younger pupils go back to the basics in math, older students go online to talk to the provincial government about bullying, homophobia, and anything else that concerns them, and everyone gets the same report card.

Winkler students can expect to be bedazzled by the province's first brand-new high school in decades, Thompson students find out what it's like to be taught by Manitoba's first $100,000-a-year classroom teachers, and in Brandon, no one will be allowed to put on any smelly stuff.

"It's very exciting," said Education Minister Nancy Allan.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/9/2013 (2179 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Workers make finishing touches to Northlands Parkway Collegiate, which will open Wednesday, featuring lots of natural light.

PHOTOS BY JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Workers make finishing touches to Northlands Parkway Collegiate, which will open Wednesday, featuring lots of natural light.

Wow, kids, what a whiz-bang of an exciting school year you're about to start.

Younger pupils go back to the basics in math, older students go online to talk to the provincial government about bullying, homophobia, and anything else that concerns them, and everyone gets the same report card.

Winkler students can expect to be bedazzled by the province's first brand-new high school in decades, Thompson students find out what it's like to be taught by Manitoba's first $100,000-a-year classroom teachers, and in Brandon, no one will be allowed to put on any smelly stuff.

"It's very exciting," said Education Minister Nancy Allan.

The Garden Valley School Division opens the doors Wednesday to its brand-new, $32.1-million Northlands Parkway Collegiate.

A typical classroom in Northlands Parkway Collegiate, which will open this week featuring natural light.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A typical classroom in Northlands Parkway Collegiate, which will open this week featuring natural light.

Children in kindergarten to Grade 8 will discover how their grandparents can do basic arithmetic without a calculator — they'll learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in their heads and on paper and memorize times tables before moving on to technology-aided math.

After a pilot project two years ago and a phasing-in last year, uniform report cards are here to stay. They're promised to be "parent-friendly" and supposedly free of edu-jargon. The province is even making a parent-friendly guide to report cards available online and on paper in 16 languages.

Allan's anti-bullying Bill 18 includes a provision that all schools that receive public funding must accommodate any student who wants to start a gay-straight alliance at school.

Allan said there's no indication any school, including faith-based private schools getting government funding, will fail to allow GSAs before the bill is law.

"I believe everyone is going to work with us," Allan said.

Heads up in Brandon before you drench yourself in back-to-school body spray — the Brandon School Division is launching a scent-free-schools policy aimed at protecting people with allergies and sensitivity to chemicals. It's to be a four-month learning period for everyone before full implementation in January, said board chairman Mark Sefton.

Teacher salary milestones fall in Thompson this month.

When the next raise kicks in this month, the School District of Mystery Lake will employ Manitoba's first $100,000-a-year classroom teacher, seven of them in fact, each of whom has two master's degrees and at least 10 years' experience.

They're class 7 teachers, and they'll be paid $101,599, salary levels previously attained only by some principals.

Meanwhile, class 5 Thompson teachers — the most common category, teachers with an undergraduate degree and an education degree — with 10 years' experience are the first in Manitoba to crack the $90,000 mark in their category, earning $90,951 this school year.

Allan didn't comment, remarking she had to hang up immediately because it was time for question period.

But earlier in the interview, Allan said the province is eagerly awaiting results from the Tell Them From Me online survey of grades 4 to 12 students at 600 public and private schools.

"It speaks to educators and administrators really wanting to know what the climate in school is. They can determine what kind of program they need in that school."

Allan said the province will make the data public, though without identifying schools or even regions in which there are significant levels of specific issues raised by students.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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