With the new school year right around the corner, work has been underway by the various school divisions in the province, including the South East Cornerstone Public School Division, to get ready to welcome back students.  

“This year, there’s a new provincial education plan that’s going to carry us into 2030,” explained Keith Keating. He is the Director of Education with the SECPSD. “It’ll be building on some of the things we started last school year as a division, and you’ll see the division build their plans, and then you’ll see the individual schools build those plans that align with the division.” 

The province’s plan has four pillars. Those are skills and knowledge for future learning, life and participation in society; mental health and well-being; connections among people and relationships between systems and structures; and inclusive, safe and welcoming learning environments. The goals of the framework, from the students' perspectives, are to learn what they need for their future, to feel safe and supported in their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being and to feel like they belong, that they are valued and that they can be themselves. 

While the first day of classes is Tuesday, the work actually started much earlier at the division level.  

“We start in August with three strategic planning meetings through the month of August, and then the board meets with senior leadership, and the senior leadership meets with administrators to prepare ahead of the school year,” Keating elaborated.  

The schools themselves open the doors to teachers and other staff around a week before the classes start for the school year. This allows teachers to take part in professional development activities, set up their classrooms, prepare materials for the first few days and more.  

The excitement for the start of the school year isn’t limited to just the teachers, students and parents. It goes all the way up the ladder.  

“I’m always excited to see some of the things that are happening with students, whether that’s academic, sporting or arts activities,” Keating said. “That’s something that I look forward to every year as to getting out into schools to see some of the excellent things that are happening in our classrooms, on our sporting fields, and on our stages of our schools.” 

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