Inspiration Through Learning
“Inspiration Through Learning” was the theme for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week which was celebrated earlier this month. Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week highlighted the invaluable work of education professionals in our schools and is acknowledged annually across Canada.
Whenever I visit our schools, or have students visit the Legislative Building, I am encouraged by the tremendous efforts of the education staff who put their hearts and souls into helping our students thrive in school and in helping to construct meaningful lives.
I have heard from parents, teachers, school division staff and board members about some of the pressures and challenges in today’s classrooms. They have expressed that additional supports are important for a variety of students. Under the leadership of Premier Scott Moe, our government is committed to ensuring students have the supports they need to succeed.
The opening of 18 new schools in Saskatchewan last fall has helped to provide suitable environments for learning. Recently, our government also announced an additional $7.5 million in mid-year funding to address front line pressures by helping school divisions hire education professionals immediately. This will mean over $378,000 between the local Prairie South and Holy Trinity Catholic school divisions.
This funding is part of our government’s commitment to provide another $30 million to hire 400 in-school educational professionals and address school board priorities. I believe this is a good start that will serve as the beginning of a renewed and respectful relationship with our teachers and education partners across the province. We will continue our conversations with school staff and school divisions to work towards the best possible outcomes for all children.
I want to commend all school staff for their efforts to reduce bullying in our schools. Their impact will be felt during Red Cross Pink Day February 28. A decade ago two boys chose to do something about bullying rather than stand by and watch it happen. Since that honourable effort, hundreds of thousands of people in Saskatchewan have participated in Red Cross Pink Day. Now the movement is worldwide, educating and inspiring others to stand together and take action against violence and bullying. Wearing a pink shirt on this day sends a strong message to victims of bullying that they are not alone, that there is help and support available and that others care. It also indicates that bullying will not be tolerated.
In 2017-2018, our government has committed $615,000 to address bullying and youth mental well-being in schools. Saskatchewan’s Action Plan to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying provides students, families and schools with the knowledge, skills, resources and supports to help Saskatchewan children and youth feel safe and accepted at school, in their community and online. When our province and all our communities work together, we can create an attitude that bullying is never acceptable.
Thank you to all our school staff for the tremendous work they do to promote success for all students. Successful students will become successful adults who will make our great province even better.