Almost 500 teachers, parents and other education partners areheading to Truro this weekend to help plan the next wave ofimprovements to Nova Scotia’s education system. Participants inthe Partners’ Forum will travel from across the province toCobequid Educational Centre on Feb. 18 and 19. “The education and health of Nova Scotia’s children is thisgovernment’s priority,” said Premier John Hamm. “We’ve built asolid foundation for student success over the past three yearswith Learning for Life. It’s time to build on that with a newplan for healthier minds and bodies, and we’re bringing togetherthe largest group of education partners that has ever beenassembled to help put that plan together.” The Department of Education will present a range of new ideascentred around six themes: setting higher standards for learning;ensuring success for all students — those who are struggling aswell as those who excel; developing active and healthy learners;providing adequate time for teaching and learning; measuring andreporting on student performance; and strengthening partnershipsfor student success. “The key is to build on positive changes that have already beenmade through Learning for Life,” said Education minister JamieMuir. “We all have a job to do to ensure students leave schoolwith the best possible preparation for their futures. The work wedo this weekend will, in time, make a big difference for thestudents in this province.” Participants at the Partners’ Forum will include teachers,principals, school board members and students. Representativesfrom school advisory councils, the Nova Scotia School BoardsAssociation, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, governmentdepartments and many others will also be included. Doug Willms,professor and director of the Canadian Research Institute forSocial Policy at the University of New Brunswick, will help kickoff the forum with a keynote address Friday evening. All Nova Scotians will have an opportunity to provide inputthrough the Department of Education website — www.ednet.ns.ca –from Feb. 21 to March 4. In the spring, the department willrelease a new plan for education in Nova Scotia.