Good morning County, and welcome back. I hope your break was restful.
Prior to heading off to parts unknown, a great deal of discussion was happening around report card comments. The concerns expressed by teachers were brought forward, and we were able to get the following response which came from a meeting of the superintendents just prior to the break.
All Superintendents have confirmed that all Boards communicated with teachers that they (teachers) are to use their reasonable, professional judgement with respect to comments. There is recognition that comments may be ‘thinner’ than usual in this instance; however, comments are expected by all teachers are part of their professional responsibilities.
As well, a comment is being added to the report card template and will appear on all going out in March. The comment will read “Please be advised that the attendance record on this report card may be incomplete.” It will be added automatically (teachers won’t have to do anything to have the comment show).
This response echoes a notice I sent out a little while back saying that comments should be brief, which also came from Elwin. So if you are working on your comments, keep that in mind.
Another issue that was having a large impact prior to the break was that of lunchtime supervision. The NSTU has not changed its position on that one. Teachers are not to be made to supervise students over the lunch hour. You may volunteer, if you wish. As well, there is some concern being expressed around the notion of teachers who volunteer to do lunch duty being assigned less duty outside of lunch. The concern is around the notion of “equitable distribution”. If I get less duty because I volunteer to do lunchtime supervision, then, presumably, someone else in my building is doing more. We are still looking into this to get some clarification on the matter.
Non-violent crisis intervention training was also a concern. Apparently some teachers were being asked to take the training outside of school hours. My understanding is that if you are required to take NVCI for your position, that training is to be offered during the day, and you can sign up for it then. The evening sessions are an option if teachers choose to not take the day time sessions. If you are being told anything different, please contact me immediately.
Halifax County has three people running for the Provincial Executive position this year. We have Paul Wozney, Ron Nugent and Duncan Cameron who have put their names forward. We will be posting a number of election related items in the coming weeks, so watch for those.
Finally, some exciting news. This is the first run of putting the Check-In on the website. The nice thing about this is that if you have a question of a fairly general nature, you should now be able to send it to me by simply commenting below. The questions can then be posted here with the appropriate answer so that everyone can see the response. I do have approval rights, so can vet the question before it goes up.
My e-mail, is of course, still the best way to contact me directly, but we are trying something new. Let me know what you think!
Thanks all, and have a great week.