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EDUCATION

A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

The department's mission is to have each student develop the attributes needed to be a life-long learner, to achieve personal fulfillment and to contribute to a productive, just and democratic society.

B. MANDATE/PROGRAM SYNOPSIS:

Public Education (K-12)

New Brunswick Library Service

Culture and Sport Secretariat

Connect NB Branché

Literacy

Student Financial Services

TeleEducation

Post-Secondary Affairs

C. PROGRAMS, POLICIES OR INITIATIVES IDENTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS IMPACTING ON WELLNESS:

The Department of Education addresses wellness issues in a variety of ways. In the K-12 system, the most obvious is through the provision of public education to all New Brunswickers between the ages of 5 and 18. The mandate of the Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch of the Culture and Sport Secretariat supports partners to provide quality sport, recreation and active living opportunities for New Brunswickers and their communities.

K-12 Public Education:

Policy Development -

Positive Learning Environment Policy: This policy is designed to help school staff, students and parents build safe and peaceful school environments. School districts develop an overall plan of assistance for fostering positive learning environments in their district and each school community develops a School Positive Learning Environment Plan. This policy is supported by funding for behaviour intervention mentors and workers in the districts and schools respectively, and by a variety of conferences, summer institutes and resource materials to promote "Safer Schools … Safer Communities" and other Student Services initiatives in relation to this policy.

Policy on Providing Health Support in Schools: This policy ensures access to public school education and avoids exclusion due to health conditions that could be accommodated in
school, and consequently, to ensure adequate procedures are in place in all schools to provide care and protection to students.

Tobacco-Free Schools Policy: This policy mandates tobacco-free learning and working environments for students and staff in the New Brunswick public school system. The policy also asks that school districts impose tobacco consumption reduction strategies. The education component of the policy ensures that information discussing the harmful effects of smoking is integrated into the public school curriculum.

Pupil Protection Policy: This policy provides a framework to protect students from abusive behaviour by adults (including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and discrimination). The elimination of abusive behaviours through prevention and effective intervention is actively supported.

Curriculum Development -

Personal Development & Career Planning and Health: The curriculum includes the following strands: mental and social health, growth and development, safety and First Aid, nutrition, dependency-causing substances, healthy lifestyle choices, and career choices and options. Both linguistic sectors are in the process of revising their health curriculum. The direction of draft documents is to make health learning proactive and focused on overall wellness.

Physical Education: Overall goals of the curricula are to attain healthy levels of

physical activity and fitness, to develop an understanding of health and recreation, to develop knowledge and attitudes supportive of continuing active living habits, to meet specific physical growth and developmental needs of all pupils. To further support the physical education curriculum, a central office physical education consultant has been recently hired.

Promotion of Physical Activity Outside the Curriculum: Schools promote physical activity and personal development in a variety of ways including track and field meets/field days, intramural sports, team sports, drama, chess, public speaking, school newspaper, and student radio.

Guidance Curriculum: The guidance curriculum has three broad components: personal development, life-long learning, and career education and planning.

District and School-Level Activities: Districts and schools provide a variety of programs to meet the needs of their students such as: bullying prevention, building self-esteem, smoking cessation, strategies for handling dating violence, suicide prevention, and the promotion of healthy food choices.

Joint Initiatives -

"Healthy Minds " Pilot Breakfast Program: The K-5 schools in the Saint John and Tracadie-Shelia districts are piloting a school breakfast program this year. The program has been evaluated, and decisions regarding provincial implementation will be made in the near future.

Nurses in Schools: Each school district was assigned a nurse to address the needs of their K-5 schools (April 2000). The "Healthy Learners in School" program is being piloted at high
schools in four districts (ten nurses have been allocated to serve the needs of high school students in these four districts).

Early Childhood Initiatives: ECI are provided with the Departments of Health and Wellness and Family and Community Services. Emphasis is on early intervention and prevention. Education has focused its energies on the early years through preventative measures such as smaller class sizes, compulsory kindergarten and literacy initiatives. The Department of Education is developing a document describing a kindergarten early identification tool for children at risk.

Provincial Youth Treatment Program for Conduct Disordered Youth and the Provincial Youth Addiction Services Treatment Program: These programs are provided in conjunction with the Department of Health and Wellness (Mental Health Services). Behaviour mentors and workers can refer students to treatment and alternative learning centres.

Support Services to Education-

Support services are provided directly by the Department of Education (via teachers, resource teachers, guidance counsellors, school psychologists, behaviour intervention mentors and workers, teacher assistants, teacher aides). Additional supports are provided under the Support Services to Education agreement with the Departments of Health and Wellness and Family and Community Services, including social workers, clinical psychologists, speech language pathologists, nurses, and other rehabilitation services.

New Brunswick Public Libraries _ 5 regional headquarters, and 61 public libraries and four bookmobiles provide equitable access to quality collections, programs and services that respond to the educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the residents of the province. Offer a variety of services related to wellness such as the Summer Reading Club for children and young people, as well as the Literacy Program for Kids.

Connect NB - is a provincial agency of the Information Highway that coordinates community-based activities and strategies to encourage the use of the information highway. As an organizing body representing a network of 200 Community Access Centres across New Brunswick, it provides the most current information technology training while promoting economic and community development. The mission of Connect NB is to provide the citizens of New Brunswick with lifelong learning opportunities utilizing current technologies in an accessible community environment.

Culture and Sport Secretariat:

Active New Brunswick _ An Action Plan to Reduce by 10% the Level of Physical Inactivity amongst New Brunswickers.

Federal/Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for sport, recreation and active living have set a joint target of reducing by 10% the proportion of inactive Canadians over a five-year period (1998-2003). The Active New Brunswick strategy is consistent with and is a key component of the comprehensive wellness strategy for New Brunswick. Physical activity is a major component of health and well being.

A three-year plan has been developed that would require Board of Management approval
and funding. The Sport, Recreation and Active Living Branch under the former Department of Municipalities previously presented information to the Select Committee on Health Care. At that time the Branch expressed interest in making a more detailed presentation specifically on the three-year plan to the Committee. Within the school system, the Department of Education is examining the implementation of a Peer Leadership initiative aimed at promoting physical activity in schools.

The Healthy Active Living Program for Older Adults _

This program assists older adults to take more control over their health and well being through five educational modules: wise use of medication, healthy eating, physical activity, stress management and healthy choices. Senior volunteer (peer) leaders are trained and supported by part-time trainers to deliver the program to older adults. The program is a joint initiative with Family and Community Services and other community partners (Go Ahead Seniors, ParticipACTION, and Moncton Volunteer Centre.)

2003 Canada Winter Games _

To be held in the Bathurst/Campbellton region will have social, economic and cultural benefits and will leave a strong legacy of sport, volunteer and community development.

Literacy -

Community Academic Services Program (CASP) _

CASP is a province-wide initiative that provides accessible community-based opportunities for any adult pursuing academic upgrading.

An organization or community, with assistance of a NBCC Literacy Coordinator, forms a committee and applies to Literacy New Brunswick Inc. (LNBI) for funding to operate a CASP. Funding is provided to hire a facilitator for up to 40 weeks of free instruction for any adult learner who wishes to pursue academic upgrading for grade levels 1-9 and for GED preparation. Learners work at their own pace. Each CASP can be renewed for as long as a demand for service exists.

Features:

· Available in English, French and bilingual instruction

· No charge

· Accessible

· Operates in 130+ communities with an annual average of 170 programs offering 3400 learning opportunities

· Customized for individual learner's needs

· A partnership involving community, government and corporate sponsorship

· NBCC provides curriculum and standards of instruction

CASP has won national and international awards (Institute of Public Administration of Canada, UNESCO, Conference Board of Canada, Governor-General's Flight for Freedom Award).

Competitive, Recognized and Educated Workforce Program (CREW) -

CREW is a provincial program, started in 1994, that assists employers/unions to provide academic upgrading and training for employees/members.

In partnership with Literacy New Brunswick Inc. (LNBI) the program is marketed and promoted to employers and unions. LNBI provides grants to employers and unions to assist with cost of programs, and employers/unions also make a contribution to the cost. Instruction is customized to give workers academic and skill development necessary to enhance their employability and improve workplace performance.

Features:

· Instruction available in English and French

· May 2000: 24 programs serving 698 workers at 17 sites

The program received awards in 1995 and 1999 from Conference Board of Canada, and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America in 1999.

Community-Based Family Literacy Initiative -

Started in October 1997, the community-based family literacy initiative is a provincial and regional program that promotes early literacy interventions to parents of preschool-aged children in their homes and communities, and supports early childhood development, parent-child bond, school readiness, stimulation, and the reinforcement of children's early learning processes.

The Literacy Branch works with Literacy New Brunswick Inc. (LNBI) and other provincial and regional partners to assist with the formation of provincial and regional committees to carry out community projects, events, public education, resource development and other initiatives in support of the objective.

Features:

· Prevention through early intervention.

· Education/support of parents, other adult caregivers.

· Coordinates, builds on, existing community resources.

· Since 1997 has assisted IODE and la coalition provinciale Le goût de lire and Honourary Patron Lieutenant Governor Marilyn Trenholme Counsell with Born to Read—Le goût de lire, a project that provides bags of books to parents of newborns; 11,500 bags distributed to May 2000.

· LNBI provides Family Literacy Field Workers to regional partners to carry out short-term projects when resources are available.

· Currently working with 15 regional committees and two provincial committees (Family Literacy Day Committee; Born to Read—Le goût de lire Committee).

D. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS:

Sneaker Day walks; communicating upcoming public sessions at UNB such as Nutrition and Breast Cancer "Can nutrition reduce your risk of breast cancer?" ; lunch hour session on stress management, and flu shot program.


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