16 Feb Taking real action to improve classroom conditions in Nova Scotia
Our government has introduced legislation that will take real action to address classroom conditions and provide a fair wage package to the province’s teachers.
Real Action to Improve Classrooms
Bill 75 establishes the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, maintains class caps for P-6 and invests $20 million over two years to address issues in the classroom. In addition, Superintendents have been directed to ensure that school boards do not institute a student retention or no-fail policy.
Our government has committed to teachers that we will fund classroom improvements, investigate potential changes to PowerSchool and direct school boards to take immediate steps to address classroom concerns from teachers.
“We know that teachers and principals do their very best to help all students to reach their full potential including students who are struggling to meet all the curriculum outcomes for their course or grade,” said Ms. Casey. “Teachers and principals, working with parents, are in the best position to decide how the student should advance. We trust their professional judgement. That is why we sent a directive to school boards to ensure their schools do not have a no-fail policy.”
Letters to the NSTU
Education Minister Karen Casey sent correspondence to the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to confirm the $20 million funding commitment and commit to investigate options to address teacher concerns about PowerSchool.
The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions
The members of Council to Improve Classroom Conditions will be appointed within 14 days of the bill being passed. The council has several priority areas to report on by April 30, including data collection, assessment and evaluation, attendance policies, timing of administrative days relative to report card preparation and technology and work processes, including PowerSchool and TIENET.
“We will continue our work with teachers and look forward to working with the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions to finalize the new provincial attendance policy to help more students attend school on a regular basis,” said Ms. Casey. “Our goal is to have the policy in schools by September 2017.”
A discussion paper to inform a new attendance policy was released last June. More than 1,600 teachers and principals provided feedback. Government has advised school boards that it will immediately resume work on a provincial student attendance policy. A new policy on student attendance will be part of the changes to the classroom in 2017 in response to teachers’ concerns.
With your support, we are taking real action to make our classrooms stronger.
Copies of both letters can be found here.
The attendance discussion paper can also be found here.