Nova Scotia Public School Program

Supporting Student Success in Inclusive, Culturally and Linguistically Responsive, Equitable and Healthy Communities

Nova Scotia public education enables our students to build their futures.

  • Our students develop the essential competencies to become well-rounded, resilient, global citizens. 
  • Each student has the right to be affirmed, to enhance understanding of their own identity and that of their communities and embrace diversity as found in society.

NS public education will prepare all our students for success. 

  • We have high expectations of all our students so they have high expectations for themselves. 
  • All students will receive an equitable and high-quality education that validates and affirms them, helps them build an identity that embraces their diverse strengths and needs.

Nova Scotia public education aims to develop well-rounded, independent, critical thinkers who take initiative and responsibility for their learning. 

  • All students are provided with learning opportunities to develop the competencies to become caring, compassionate, creative, resilient global citizens who help build and support their diverse communities.  

Student success is comprised of three interlocking components: 

  • Learning: students acquire competencies (a set of attitudes, skills, and knowledge) in various subjects in the core curriculum, and in areas of learning outside the core curriculum, including life skills.
  • Development: students develop appropriate social, emotional, and behavioral skills that facilitate their full membership, participation, and learning.
  • Well-being: students learn and adopt healthy lifestyles that support their physical and mental growth and development.

Nova Scotia public education, grounded in the principles of equity and inclusiveness, celebrates diversity and promotes respect as well as personal and collective responsibility. Teachers, students, parents and guardians, families, and the community validate, affirm, honour and embrace the diversity, the individual qualities, the identities, the culture, the experiences and the uniqueness of everyone. Diversity in Nova Scotia public schools is a source of strength and knowledge upon which connections, deep understanding and unity can be built.

Culturally and linguistically responsive communities connect a student’s social, cultural, family, and/or language background to what the student is learning and to their sense of belonging. This environment nurtures this cultural and linguistic uniqueness and responds by creating conditions in which all students’ learnings are enhanced. A variety of culturally and linguistically responsive instruction and assessment practices make learning more engaging, relevant, and accessible for all students, as well as ensuring equitable outcomes for all.

Nova Scotia public schools are committed to the elimination of systemic racism in the education system, thus contributing to the elimination of racism in public institutions and society; the support of learning environments that affirm a learner’s inherent right to dignity, security, and self-worth; providing and promoting anti-racism and race relations, cross cultural understanding, and human rights education within its school system. 

Healthy and safe communities are vital to student learning and success. Ensuring equitable and inclusive learning communities requires attention to the relationships and connections between and among students, teachers, parents/families and communities. Restorative learning communities recognize the importance of relationships of equality, mutual concern, care and respect for human dignity for student success. A restorative approach orients policies, programs, practice and services toward this relational goal. Taking a restorative approach in schools is about more than implementing a program, a practice or a tool, it is a way of thinking and working that focuses on the importance of communities for learning and student success. It is not only for addressing conflict or problems in a school. It is a foundational commitment to building and maintaining healthy relations in schools on the everyday.

A restorative approach is guided by principled commitments to be:

  • relational – attentive to connections, circumstances, contexts and histories
  • responsive – to diversity in culture, identity and experiences; flexible and adaptive to the needs of students, knowing students as they are known.
  • educative – understanding individual and collective needs and responsibilities through inclusive and participatory opportunities for deep learning; forward focused, collaborative and problem-solving approach.

A culture of high expectations for all students, when accompanied by the supports students need, reinforces learning communities that foster engagement and deeper learning.An equitable and inclusive education system reflects the fair, respectful and caring treatment of all people and is essential to the engagement and success of each student. The goal is to create a safe and caring environment that allows students to feel accepted, understood, appreciated, and connected to the curriculum.

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