Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey has received the 18 initial recommendations from the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and has directed her department and school boards to act on them. Eight of the recommendations will be immediately implemented and ten are in progress.
“From the results of its first meeting, it is clear the council and its members are committed to addressing classroom issues and developing real, sustainable solutions,” said Ms. Casey. “We will implement a number of them right away and work to carry out the remaining recommendations as quickly as possible.”
The eight immediate actions include:
— eliminating three provincially mandated assessments and exams
— putting in place a five-year moratorium on new school board and provincially initiated assessments
— maintaining the suspension of Grade 10 exams, which will be available at teachers’ request
— maintaining the suspension of one provincially mandated assessment
— issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to marks, which is effective April 3
— issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to attendance, which is effective April 3
— issuing a directive to school boards about PowerSchool with regards to outcomes, which is effective April 3
— preparing and sharing a summary of council discussions and recommendations
The province is developing a targeted consultation with teachers and other users on more improvements to PowerSchool and TIENET. This will include observing educators as they use the programs to identify areas where improvements can and should be made.
Many of the outstanding recommendations require the department and school boards to present information and options to the council at its next meeting in April. These include giving teachers more time to respond to emails and prepare Individual Program Plans and looking at the timing of pupil evaluation, classification, and administrative days. The council also reviewed a draft attendance policy, which will be discussed further at April’s meeting.
The initial report from the council is expected by April 28.
A full list of the 18 recommendations, status, and implementation timelines is available online at www.novascotia.ca/classroomcouncil.