18 2015

Education Experts Offer Smart Tips for Back-To-School Success

August 18th 2015
National Education Charity, The Learning Partnership, Offers Expertise on Gearing Up for Back-to-School
While Preparing For Its Own Big Fall Season of Education Initiatives
TORONTO, ON, August 18, 2015 – The back-to-school buzz is a familiar feeling at The Learning Partnership. With a program staff made up entirely of retired senior educators, gearing up for September is an old habit that is hard to break. Collectively, it has more than 40 former teachers and principals that have a tremendous amount of expertise on how to make the most of the new school year and The Learning Partnership is pleased to share this expertise with students and parents.
This year, The Learning Partnership offers tip sheets aimed at students and parents to help them start the year on the right foot in the areas of parent engagement, 21st century skills development, career planning, social responsibility, early years learning, and child health and wellness. These sheets include:

For Parents For Students The following education experts are available for further comment on these and many other back-to-school topics:
Jan Courtin, Director, National Student Programs – Jan Courtin holds a M.Ed., a B.A., and a Supervisory Officer’s Certificate. Fully committed to public education, Jan’s long-standing educational career is founded within Ontario’s Peel District School Board (PDSB) through a number of senior leadership roles including Superintendent of Education, 21st Century Committee Co-Chair and secondary school Principal. She is an advocate for community engagement and mental health education, and has strong experience in shaping rich professional development for teachers that reflect 21st Century teaching and learning and enhanced global awareness.
Gerry Connelly, Director, Policy and Knowledge Mobilization – The former Director of Education of the Toronto District School Board and Director of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch in the Ontario Ministry of Education, Gerry Connelly is an expert on education trends and practices. Her career includes teaching and administration in both rural and urban environments in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, the United States and Ontario, at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. 
Akela Peoples, President and CEO  – Akela Peoples holds an M.Ed. from the University of Toronto (OISE), a B.Ed., an Honours B.A. and is a former teacher and senior leader in public education. She has earned multiple awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Top 100: Canada's Most Powerful Women Award in the Trailblazer category by Women's Executive Network, and the YWCA's Women of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship leadership. She has 17 years’ experience as a CEO and is an expert on various topics in business and education.
See the full tip sheets, complete list of expert topics and expert bios at:
The Learning Partnership is also all a-buzz because it has a number of its own initiatives launching this fall, including:
Canada’s Outstanding PrincipalsTM NominationsEvery year The Learning Partnership honours principals across the country who exemplify excellence in public education. Chosen by a national selection committee, these outstanding principals come to Toronto to be recognized at an annual gala awards evening, experience a five-day Executive Leadership Training program at the Rotman School of Management, and become part of the alumni group – the National Academy of Principals. Nominations for the 2016 Canada’s Outstanding Principals awards are open until November 2, 2015 and submissions are invited from school boards, colleagues, parents, teachers, students and all community members.
Take Our Kids to WorkTMWednesday, November 4, 2015 will mark 21 years of The Learning Partnership’s flagship program, Take Our Kids to Work.  On this nationally renowned day, Grade 9 students across Canada will accompany parents, guardians, relatives or volunteers to their workplaces to experience a day in the life of someone on-the-job, helping them connect school with the world of work and their own futures. As part of the 2015 program, The Learning Partnership is launching a fun and informative Career App to further support students during their early high school years about life choices after graduation. This digital tool speaks to youths in their voice and provides labour market information, self-assessment tools, education-to-employment pathway advice and graduate success stories across the country. Also, in an effort to extend the learning experience beyond first year of high school, The Learning Partnership launched Take Our Class to Work, starting in Ontario, where participating classes select and visit a workplace to learn about the organization as part of the province’s Grade 10 Careers Studies Course.
Pan-Canadian Educational ResearchThe Learning Partnership is continuing its research initiatives that focus on Canada’s education. This includes: sharing its extensive findings on the level of physical activity among Canadian children through the Active at School: Connecting the Dots (2014) report; tapping into student views and perspectives about the effectiveness of Canada’s public education system, as well as the support they need to make post-secondary and career choices through the It’s My Future: Student Voices From Across Canada (2014) report; and examining parent and educator perceptions on how technology supports teaching and learning.
Student ProgramsAs always, back-to-school for The Learning Partnership also means kick-starting another year of delivering its successful student programs in classrooms across Canada to complement curriculum. In addition to Take Our Kids to Work, The Learning Partnership will run: Entrepreneurial Adventure, an entrepreneurial education-based program; Investigate! Invent! Innovate!TM, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-based program; Welcome to KindergartenTM, an early-learning program for pre-kindergarten children and their parents; and, Turning Points, a character awareness and literacy program.
Coming Soon! We’re launching an exciting new Career App for high school students
as part this year’s Take Our Kids to Work day!
About The Learning Partnership
The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. We do this through five key deliverables - innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.1 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership's programs. For more information on The Learning Partnership, visit

For expert interview requests, please contact:
Bernadette Celis, Media and Communications Manager, The Learning Partnership
(416) 440-5124 |