Our Vision for Student Success: Council to Improve Classroom Conditions

This is the second of a series of posts highlighting the key initiatives in your Liberal government’s Vision for Student Success. In addition to this post, we will be highlighting the real actions and impacts the Council has had—in under a year—on our education system in separate posts in the coming days.

In the early 2017 we launched the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions to provide teachers and stakeholders a direct-line to government. The Council is made up of 14 Nova Scotians who have each volunteered their time to contribute to real, actionable solutions to day-to-day challenges in our classrooms. Their work is meant to improve outcomes and conditions for students while better enabling our teachers to focus on the education of our students.

Of the 14 members there are nine classroom teachers, a guidance counselor, a parent, and a student as well as two co-chairs who meet for three days each month. The Council has direct influence on government policy decisions and was provided $10 million to ensure real action could be taken on their recommendations. For the teachers on the Council, their decisions reflect actions taken based on the input and feedback provided by their colleagues.

Some of the Council’s significant accomplishments include:

  1. Set limits in class sizes for junior and senior high. As a result, Nova Scotia now has class caps from P-12.
  2. Introduced a first-ever province-wide attendance policy and pilot program of attendance support workers who will help students and their families work through issues preventing regular attendance.
  3. Bringing 139 new teachers into the system to accommodate smaller class sizes.
  4. Tackled data-entry issues—a concern teachers identified as taking time away from teaching.

The Council has also identified plans to simplify report cards and advise on a new assessment policy dealing with deadlines, use of zeroes, and existing ‘no-fail’ practices.