Minister's back-to-school message (08/08/28)

NB 1235

Aug. 28, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message regarding the beginning of the 2008-09 school year has been released by Education Minister Kelly Lamrock.

As a new school year begins, I want to reaffirm the commitment of our government to ensure that all students in the province succeed.

I also want to underline how proud I am of our teachers' commitment and resolve in their daily mission to build the best education system in the country.

This mission, supported by the commitment of parents, communities, and all educators and school staff, is the essence of our plan, When kids come first, which is built around three goals:

This year we had a lot of dialogue about our education system. I hope that we can continue it, because we need everyone's commitment in order to build a quality education system.

For 2008-09 we increased our budget by $66 million to better meet not only the needs of all students but also those of teachers and school principals, who will be given more of the educational tools required in order to become innovative agents of change.

We are increasing efforts to satisfy the objectives of inclusion, and we will continue the Innovative Learning Fund for teachers, develop more community schools, and foster professional development.

All of these initiatives support our goal to ensure that all children right from the start, and to make sure that they acquire basic literacy, numeracy, and science skills right from the start.

Improved French second-language programming, a greater choice of trades courses, emphasis on physical education, music, and visual arts, and the Commission on Francophone Schools are other examples of our determination to ensure the success of all our students.

However, more than anything, if we are to realize our vision of a self-sufficient New Brunswick, we need to work together. Therefore, I appeal to everyone - parents, communities, business people, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, associations, and residents - to work together to build the best schools for our children.

Have a great school year!