Nunavut schools get ‘good’ grade in ADHD report

The territory’s ‘inclusive’ education was a key factor in its rating, according to the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada

Nunavut schools, which include Kugluktuk’s elementary school, received “good” grade on ADHD supports for students, according to “2021 Report Card: ADHD in the School System,” a a new report by the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada. (File photo by Dustin Patar)

By Jeff Pelletier

Schools in Nunavut have received a “good” grade for their support for students with ADHD, according to a Canada-wide report from the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada.

The report, titled 2021 Report Card: ADHD in the School System, was released on Feb. 28. It highlights how all 13 Canadian territories and provinces have succeeded and struggled to provide adequate ADHD support for children in schools.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, affects between about five and nine per cent of children across Canada, according to data from the centre.

Nunavut was the only territory to receive a “good” grade. Three provinces also received “good” grades, including Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Graded were based on six main concerns the centre listed. The more concerns a province or territory had, the worse the grade. No jurisdiction earned the highest-possible “excellent” grade, which would indicate there are no concerns.

This year marks the first time Nunavut has been included in the report, which was last conducted in 2010, according Heidi Bernhardt, the director of education and advocacy at the centre.

Bernhardt said Nunavut’s grade can be associated with the territory’s “inclusive” education system, which enables school principals and teachers to develop support plans to meet specific needs.

“Nunavut does not have a system that excludes students with ADHD, or makes it more difficult for them to get the resources they need,” she said.

The main shortcoming listed for Nunavut in the report is a “current lack of educator training,” something all provinces and territories are missing.

If educators are going to be responsible for meeting the individual needs of every student, Bernhardt says it’s important the Education Department gives proper training.

“We need to get the teachers in Nunavut and every province and territory educated,” she said.

“If you’re charging them with recognizing the needs and supporting the needs of these students, they’ve got to know … how to support these students, and how ADHD significantly impacts learning.”

Bernhardt said the centre’s ADHD report card is not annual because provincial and territorial education departments rarely prove they have made any significant change in support from year-to-year. However, she said Nunavut and the three provinces with “good” grades can move up to “excellent” if they meet the need to fully educate teachers on ADHD.

Bernhardt added parents should also feel empowered to ask their school boards, as well as their provincial and territorial education departments, about what resources are available for their children and educators.

Nunatsiaq News emailed Nunavut’s Education Department for comment about the report’s grading, but did not receive a response.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Consistency on

    What a joke. there is nothing “good” about the education system in the smaller communities. And the fact that there is a spring break coming up just adds to the lack of education. what do the kids or teachers need a break from. its not like most of the teachers did very good (if at all) producing learning packages during this most recent school closures due to the lockdowns. no we need to keep the kids in school and make the teachers teach something. the kids are already far behind.
    Though i guess to be fair they arnt doing much right now anyway.. so might as well make it official with a real Break that the “teachers” dont have/should do something.

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    • Posted by Dave on

      Most larger school divisions devoted large groups of curriculum experts to create quality “learning packages” that allowed teachers to move back and forth between in class and online learning. These same school divisions also made these available for purchase by smaller school divisions and many/most school divisions purchased them.

      The GN choose to do nothing, and now you think it’s the teacher’s fault.

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      • Posted by Consistency on

        Your right it is not only on the teachers. the GN, QSO, and teachers (I know not all, there are some that are good/great teachers… though I hope my kids teachers dont read this and think they fit this category) all dropped the ball majorly.

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  2. Posted by Say What? on

    Make? How do you propose to make anyone do anything?

    Let me know when you’ve gotten that collective agreement re-written and approved by all. It’ll be…oh 2026 or so.

    However, to the main point – the issue was with the choices that the GN made, not the low-level employees – the teachers.

    Take your concerns up with the minister and Akeeagok, they are the decision makers in this matter.

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  3. Posted by Garbage! on

    This report is a joke! There is a serious lack of supports in Nunavut. First issue is sufficient qualified teachers that understand what ADHD is let alone how to support it. There is absolutely ZERO testing capacity in Nunavut which is required to develop appropriate response plans that include appropriate accommodations. I guess on the flip side, if we can diagnose or test for it, we must not have any adhd right?! GARBAGE!

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    • Posted by Woke Participation Badge on

      It’s obvious that whomever came up with this rating has never set foot in Nunavut let alone a classroom here. This appears to be an exercise in ticking arbitrary boxes. Or even worse, one particular box only.

      Notice we got our grade because our education system is “inclusive”. What does that even mean?

      The idea of ‘inclusivity’ has become a progressive sacrament over the past few years. We can probably intuit what that means on some level. In practice it is distributed or withheld as a badge of honor or disgrace and with so little grounding in some cases (like this one) that it’s hard not be a bit cynical about it.

      With that in mind, here’s what I think… we are given a good rating because the originator of the rating itself dare not criticize a largely indigenous population, instead we will distribute the warm fuzzy badge of “inclusivity” signalling our recognition of that apparently disarming fact.

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  4. Posted by Children First on

    I agree with the above. This is ridiculous and does not mean that Nunavut is doing great.

    The key here is : “Graded were based on six main concerns the centre listed. The more concerns a province or territory had, the worse the grade. ”

    Any parent with a child with special needs knows that the department of Education does not care about ADHD. In fact, they don’t believe in ADHD.

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