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Specialized support classrooms coming to Sask. schools to de-escalate behavioural incidents

A pilot project focused on specialized supports for the classroom will be taking place in Saskatchewan schools in February.

The provincial government said a specialized support classroom will help teachers manage and de-escalate behavioural incidents.

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“We have heard from Saskatchewan teachers that they need to spend more of their time teaching rather than managing disruptive behaviour,” Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said.

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“This pilot aims to support students to continue their studies uninterrupted but also assists students who need targeted interventions in the short-term.”

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Eight school divisions will be taking part in the pilot project that runs until the 2024-25 school year, which the province said will help students practise self-regulation skills and address the impacts of disruptions in the classroom.

A minimum of one teacher and two educational assistants will staff these classrooms and they will have space for 15 students.

“Our staff is looking forward to working collaboratively with the Ministry of Education to develop a plan that supports our students. We know this project will have a positive impact on teaching and learning in one of our elementary schools. We are working with our team at Saskatoon Public to determine which elementary school will be part of this pilot,” Saskatoon Public Schools Board chair Kim Stranden said.

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“We are pleased to announce that St. Mary School will be our chosen site for the pilot in our division. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Education during this pilot as we discover a new support mechanism that will result in a positive experience for students and staff,” Light of Christ Catholic Schools Board chair Glen Gantefoer said.

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Participating school divisions are in urban areas and the Ministry of Education said it will be working closely with these school divisions.

Parents and guardians of students who are being supported by these specialized classrooms will be informed.

The province said $3.6 million is going toward this pilot project.

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