This year, the Ready-to-Learn Schools program will launch in Yukon schools across the territory.
The universal support program will train teachers and staff to create learning environments that are developmentally responsive, while recognizing that a child’s chronological age may not match their emotional, cognitive or social age. It will also help educators understand how prolonged exposure to toxic stress impacts brain development, functioning and learning.
The Ready-to-Learn Schools program was first launched as a pilot project at Takhini Elementary School in 2019 and was adopted by Selkirk Elementary School in 2021. This school year the program will be implemented at St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction, Nelnah Bessie John School in Beaver Creek and Grey Mountain Primary School and Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse. Responsive instructional approaches will eventually be implemented in all Yukon schools.
A key component of this initiative is teacher training in the Neurosequential Model in Education. This model was developed by brain development and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry (M.D., PH.D.).
This Ready-to-Learn program aims to empower teachers and school staff to better understand, support and guide Yukon students as they travel along their educational path. The program is grounded in the understanding that children can only be ready to learn when they feel safe and calm and recognizes that every child has their own unique learning journey. I look forward to seeing this program be implemented in more schools across the Yukon and help our schools better meet the needs of Yukon students.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
The work at Takhini School, over the past three years, in implementing the core concepts of Dr. Perry’s Neurosequential Model in Education has profoundly changed the culture of the school. Community members who come into the school have commented on the calm and welcoming environment. All of our staff have worked together to truly meet children where they’re at. This inclusive, non-punitive and culturally respectful approach honours the values of the First Nations School Board, and we will continue to work together as we move this initiative forward.
Takhini Elementary School Vice-Principal Lisa Evans
The Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) is based on more than 20 years of research by Dr. Bruce Perry and his associates at the Neuroseqential Network.
This initiative is part of the department’s response to the Review of Inclusive and Special Education and to the 2019 Office of the Auditor General Report on Kindergarten through Grade 12 Education in the Yukon.