Ontario’s public elementary schools will add 401 specialist teachers to help the province’s youngest learners advance in their reading skills, according to a tentative agreement negotiated between the government, school boards and a teachers’ union.
The tentative deal, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, was shared on Thursday with members belonging to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). A ratification vote is being scheduled.
The specialist teachers will support classroom educators in administering a reading screening tool in senior kindergarten, and Grades 1 and 2. They will also provide reading support, either one-on-one or in small groups, for students in kindergarten to Grade 3. ETFO’s tentative deal includes government funding for these specialist teachers for the next academic year and the following one.