Check-in, December 4th, 2017

Good Morning County! Welcome to December!

We start off today with some news from the Provincial body. I was able to attend Friday’s Provincial Executive meeting as an observer and there was a great deal of discussion around the substitute teacher shortage, particularly as it pertains to us here in metro. What we are experiencing here “in town” is nothing new; rather simply new to us. Many of the more rural boards, and certainly many of our own rural schools, are very familiar with the issue of not having enough qualified substitute teachers. Hopefully I will have some more information to share with you on this issue before too much longer.

When it comes to your regional leadership (County, City and Dartmouth), we are also working very hard to try to find solutions within our own wheelhouse that may help take some of the burden off of members. We have a meeting scheduled on Friday with HRSB to see if we can perhaps work out some short term solutions, and are looking to open the conversation about finding some long term ones. Obviously, neither HRSB nor the HRRC can create new teachers, but perhaps we can work collaboratively to find ways to keep the ones we have healthy and, ideally, reduce the demand.

I know that this is a crazy busy time of year, and that many of you are already “running on empty”, but if you can spare a moment at all, we would love to see you at the NSTU building on Joseph Howe Drive this Wednesday evening around 4:30pm. That is where the NSTU provincial body has arranged for teachers to meet with representatives from the Commission on Inclusive Education so that teachers can have input on the new inclusion model. If you are planning on attending, please fill out this quick Google form so that we have a sense of how many folks are coming.

On a final note, thanks to the staff of Sir John A for having me out on Monday of last week, and I am looking forward to upcoming visits at Hammonds Plains Consolidated School and Musquodoboit Valley Education Center. If you want me to drop by for a visit to discuss pressing issues or to just have a chat, just reach out and I will arrange to come to your school.

That’s it for this week folks. Please look after yourselves in these final stressful days before the holidays, and if you haven’t already, consider getting a ‘flu shot.

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