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Ted McMeekin
M.P.P. - Ancaster-Dundas
4th Floor, suite 4320
Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3
Fax 416-327-3790

Constituency Office
P.O. Box 1240,
Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
Toll-Free: 888-566-6614
Fax: 905-690-6562



June 26, 2007

HAMILTON — The McGuinty government is helping Hamilton-Wentworth students better access online math help so they can succeed in school, Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot announced today.


The Ontario government is providing $500,000 to TVO’s Independent Learning Centre to expand the online Ask a Teacher service in Hamilton.  This pilot service will allow Grade 7, 8 and 9 students in Hamilton to communicate directly online with teachers who can help with math homework. 


“Through the Ask a Teacher service, Hamilton area students can get help with their homework from a teacher after school has finished for the day,” said McMeekin.  “This pilot service is just one more way our government is supporting more student achievement in school — and this means more young people in Hamilton are on the path to a successful future.”


Since 2001, Ask a Teacher has been successfully offering secondary school students across Ontario the opportunity to communicate directly with a teacher through online chat rooms about core subjects such as math, English, science and history.  The expansion will create a series of new dedicated chat rooms with tutors available specifically to help Hamilton students with Grade 7-9 math four hours per night, five nights per week (Sunday through Thursday). The result will be more hours, more teachers, and more resources to address one of the most challenging subjects in the curriculum. This is the first time the service will be offered to Grade 7 and 8 students.


“This initiative is part of our government’s Student Success Strategy that is supporting more students to make the difficult transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9 and get the credits they need to graduate high school,” said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.  “We are continuing to work with partners like TVO to help students develop essential literacy and numeracy skills, and to succeed in school for a brighter future.”


Through this pilot initiative, students can also access Chalk Talk, a new feature of Ask a Teacher.  Chalk Talk is a virtual online seminar in which a teacher uses audio and other interactive tools to present challenging subjects to a group of students online.  Through the service, students are able to ask questions and can respond to the teacher’s questions.  Ask a Teacher and a suite of learning resources including complete high school courses are available through the Independent Learning Centre at .  The expanded service will launch in September with Chalk Talk being introduced in the second semester.


“This initiative is much appreciated and will be of great benefit to students in Hamilton,” said Marcel Castura, Director of Education, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.  “The service recognizes that students today learn differently and will provide them with the extra support they need to succeed in math.”


Ask a Teacher also builds on the Ontario government’s commitment to expand e-learning in Ontario.  This expansion includes: 

§         This year, more than 3,000 credits were delivered through e-learning, an increase from 900 credits last year

§         More than 5,000 resources are available to support students and teachers through the online Ontario Educational Resource Bank

§         The participation of all 72 publicly funded school boards.


“We are proud of this successful service that gives students across Ontario one-on-one time with a teacher who can help work through their homework questions.” said TVO’s CEO Lisa de Wilde.  “TVO is pleased to have this support to create a localized pilot for Hamilton students where they can access a group of tutors ready to offer them help with challenging math concepts.”


French-language students in all grades can access homework help through SOS Devoirs.  The French-language tutoring service is supported by TfO and is available at .




Ted McMeekin, M.P.P.