Twenty elementary schools have been identified as Performance Plus schools. These schools are located in neighbourhoods where a greater number of children and families are living in poverty. Additional resources are provided to these schools including a Performance Plus teacher, child and youth worker and supply days to be used to enhance school/community relations and engagement.
There are two community resource facilitators who liaise with school personnel, community agencies and families. They coordinate and facilitate the deployment of resources and assets to schools while promoting parent, family and community engagement initiatives through various community development strategies. In addition, three school assistants have been hired to support parent engagement initiatives in Performance Plus school communities where a majority of the families have a first language other than English. The focus of this work will enhance student achievement and well-being, parent engagement and equity of outcomes.
All Performance Plus schools offer a half day, four week, school readiness program during the month of July. "Building Blocks for Kindergarten" is designed for Junior Kindergarten students entering school in September who may have had little or no preschool experience. This program is facilitated by a Kindergarten teacher and where possible an ECE from the Ontario Early Years neighborhood agency. Performance Plus community resource facilitators ensure a parent learning component is also provided and facilitated by community partner agencies and groups.
Summer Institutes for Kids, a summer learning program for JK-Grade 8 students, takes place in 11 neighbourhoods across York Region. The goal of the Summer Institute for Kids program is to provide extended learning opportunities for children and enhance student achievement. A combination of academic, art, physical and health education is included in the program. Many sites incorporate activities that provide alternative approaches to the skills outlined in the Ontario Curriculum.
Parents, caregivers and staff at P+ schools can expect:
- collaboration with partners to collectively focus on the strengths and needs of students and their families before they reach schools;
- the transition to school to be easier for children and their parents;
- the inclusiveness of all children, particularly in those neighbourhoods where a large number of immigrant families have chosen to settle including outreach and engagement with parents in different languages and in ways that are inclusive of different cultures;
- access to supports for mental health including preventative approaches and strategies and treatment; and,
- support for effective parenting and partnerships through the Triple P network, after-school programs, inclusive recreation, food security and homework support initiatives.
Updated December 2012