What’s your plan to address learning loss?
Ontario’s plan aims to address pandemic impacts on students with investment in four areas: assessment, tutoring, resilience and mental well-being, and numeracy and literacy.
How much funding is going to the recovery plan and how will it be allocated?
In February 2022, the ministry announced $176 million to expand tutoring supports, with $175 million for school boards’ immediate use to implement programs through December 2022. Mandated to be in place by April 1, 2022, these programs could be during, before or after school hours, and occur during summer and/or offered by local organizations. Funding was also pledged to expand online math and reading tutoring services from Mathify and Eureka.
The ministry announced an additional $10 million for student resilience and mental well-being, with a plan to launch consultations in summer 2022 to develop a provincewide student mental health strategy alongside the Ministry of Health. Of this funding, $5 million was allocated for evidence-based programs and resources.
Ontario pledged $40 million to learning supports in math and reading, including $25 million for reading assessment and intervention programs for struggling readers. It planned to expand existing summer learning programs with $10 million for students with special needs, $130,000 for provincial and demonstration schools and $5 million for programs by third parties. School board summer learning programs for First Nation students living on reserve were to receive $120,000 for 2022 and 2023, with Eureka to get $100,000 to develop French-language virtual summer programming.
How are you addressing other student needs?
Mental health components of the recovery plan include looking at mandatory professional development on mental health and exploring a potential graduation requirement on resilience and mental well-being.
The ministry also announced a time-limited staffing support fund of $304 million. This would go toward hiring teachers, early childhood educators and other workers to address learning recovery plus staff to implement de-streamed Grade 9, special education needs, remote learning (a required option for the 2022-2023 school year) and enhanced cleaning.
Learning recovery was also flagged as a priority area for Ontario’s three mandatory professional activity days for educators during the next school year.
How have you been monitoring the impact on students?
What assessments have taken place?
After pausing during the pandemic, Ontario planned to resume grades 3 and 6 EQAO provincial testing in spring 2022. The results were expected in fall 2022, when the ministry aimed to engage education officials, teaching experts and at-risk communities to identify interventions and set targets for improvement.