They are Alberta’s students. They are the faces of joy, fascination, hope and optimism.
They are the face of public education.
Public education provides students from all backgrounds with learning experiences to discover and develop their potential, their passions and their gifts, allowing them to make significant contributions to their communities.
Public education prepares learners for life, and Alberta’s public education system* is widely recognised as one of the best systems in the world.
We believe in public education and we believe in providing students with the best opportunities for success.
* In Alberta, public education refers to public, separate and francophone schools.
The Pledge for Public Education
I believe all students should be able to learn in small-sized classes.
- Smaller classes create more opportunities for one-on-one interaction between teachers and students, greater individualization and enhanced student engagement.
- The most important role of teachers is building strong, meaningful and professional relationships with students.
- Research supports small classes: “The academic literature strongly supports the common-sense notion that class size is an important determinant of student outcomes.”
I believe all students with special learning needs should receive the supports and resources they require for success.
- For the inclusion of all students with diverse learning needs in the same learning environment to be successful, students must have timely access to appropriate supports and resources.
- Some students require additional professional and para-professional support including learning coaches, educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, psychologists and speech and language pathologists.
- School boards need adequate funding to ensure resources are available without drawing funding from general education funding sources.
I believe all students should have the opportunity to benefit from fully-funded junior kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs.
- Early childhood programs are instrumental in ensuring that all children come to school ready to learn. At-risk students can be identified early and matched with developmental supports that remove or reduce barriers to learning.
- Developmentally appropriate kindergarten programs benefit children academically and socially, especially children from low socio-economic or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Numerous studies have demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of early learning programs—with some demonstrating a return of investment as high as nine to one.
I believe all students should have access to a teacher-certificated school counsellor in their school.
- School counsellors provide ongoing counselling services, respond to crisis situations and promote good mental well-being generally.
- Access to school counselling significantly reduces student anxiety and depression and has been connected to decreases in student behaviour problems and incidents of bullying.
- School counsellors have received additional professional development or graduate-level training that prepares them to support students’ personal, social, educational and career development, as well as promote students’ mental health and well-being.