“It’s exciting. We’re engaging students and we’re looking forward to the start of school,” Principal Brian Ruthven of the Assiniboia Elementary School replied, when asked how he felt about the new school year, which began on September 3.
This year, students across the province have returned to their classrooms. More than 770 schools across Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions and various other schools around the province are educating approximately 190,000 Prekindergarten to Grade 12 students for the 2019-2020 school year. In Saskatchewan, school usually starts after Labour Day, unless the statutory holiday falls on or after September 5.
School zone speed limits vary in communities across the province from 30-40 km per hour. Drivers have been notified to be vigilant and observe the posted speed limits. Drivers are asked to be extra focused on the roads this week, because of the intensified traffic resulting from school buses and students.
“I know firsthand how excited kids are at this time of year as they head back to school, or begin school for the first time,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “I know many parents and educators who are eager to begin a new school year too and it is important that we all do our part to keep our students safe as they travel to and from school.”
Meanwhile, the results of the NDP’s Brighter Future education survey, which received submissions from over 1,400 people across Saskatchewan, illustrates a gloomy picture about the state of education in the province. According to the NDP’s assessment, 83 per cent of teachers and 77 per cent of Educational Assistants said the situation in the province’s schools has degraded during the last three years. Fifty-six per cent of parents taking these surveys said learning conditions have worsened because of government-induced education cuts. Most of the survey respondents were especially concerned about classroom sizes in the province, with 83 per cent of respondents supporting a cap to improve the student-teacher ratio inside schoolrooms.
“Students simply aren’t getting the supports they need, and teachers are worried about how to meet their students’ needs,” NDP Education Critic Carla Beck said. “This government continues to let our students, teachers and parents down with cuts and underfunding and by breaking the Premier’s promise to add 400 EAs to our schools.”