Check-In, Wednesday, February 26th

Good morning County!

First off, apologies for the late release date on this edition of the Check-In. There are several things going on right now that are causing concern for members, and I was waiting until I had some more information on a few key items. I can’t say that I was tremendously successful in that effort, but here goes 🙂

We met with the HRCE on Monday afternoon in one of our regularly scheduled Management/ Teacher meetings. There we were informed about the new “data wall” initiative, which some of you have already contacted me about.

At this point, we are looking for clarification around what the HRCE is expecting from teachers in regards to this. Once we have a clearer idea of the expectations, we will share that with you, and respond to any and all questions you may have.

Further, we also asked some very pointed questions about running records, and were once again re-assured that the HRCE is of the mind that if you are being told that you must provide data from running records, you should be given release time to administer the assessment.

Both sides understand that running records are “best practice” and that some teachers may choose to use them as a matter of course. However, neither the HRCE nor the local has the authority to change the decision that was arrived at, (quite amicably, I might add) last year. If teachers are being told they must provide running record data by their admin team, then the admin team is responsible for providing release time. 

Now, teachers can still be asked, (and, indeed are expected to) provide evidence of reading comprehension (ie: Meeting, approaching, developing, limited) and may be asked how they arrived at those conclusions. However, this is very different than having to fill out sheets that specifically refer to Fountas and Pinell indicators (ie. Accuracy, Self-Corrections, Fluency, Comprehension, Overall comprehension rating). 

It should be noted that we are working very closely with HRCE on this, and are trying to have the confusion around this sorted out sooner, rather than later. If you have any specific questions about what you are being asked to do, please let me know and I will get clarification.

We are also working closely with HRCE on the new school re-alignment issues that have been created by the addition of the pre-primary program at several of our sites. Again, I want to assure you all that we have done this before, and that we will be making every effort to get all your questions answered.  I am waiting to hear back from HRCE about which Human Resources manager will be handling this file, and once I do I will be looking at setting up meetings with the effected staff to explain the process.

Finally, on a note from JOHS. We have been trying to get some clarification around “refusal to work”. In most cases, if a worker exercises their rights under refusal to work, then the people who replace that worker must be made aware of the hazard. The question we are seeking clarification on is how this impacts teachers if there is a refusal to work because of a student. Should the duty to inform only include the replacement worker, or should that information be shared more widely among the staff with whom that student will come in direct contact? Again, once I have a clearer understanding, I will advise.

Now, onto some lighter items.

First a major shout out to all the individuals who attended our New Member Conference this past weekend. It was very well attended and by all accounts, the new members who attended were exceptionally please by the quality of information the received. Thank you to Crystal Isert and the communications committee for all their hard (volunteer) work in putting this together.

Speaking of new members, I sent out a small token of our appreciation to the substitute teachers who were nominated in our “Awesome Substitute” contest last week. By now, the cards should have arrived at the school site. If you nominated a sub, but did not yet get a card, touch base and I will confirm that one was mailed.

Finally, we are opening nominations today for the election of a Provincial Executive member. PE serve two year terms, and may only serve for a total of four years (in most cases.) One of our current members is at the end of their first two year term, so the seat is open to being contested. 

The Provincial Executive position is one of the most important in our organization. The Provincial Executive members are the upper chamber of decision making in the NSTU, and have a direct say in everything from NSTU structure to policy and governance. If you are interested in putting your name forward,  simply click on the link on the right hand side of this page.

That’s it County. With any luck I will have more clarity on some of these issues for next Monday.

Have a great week.






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