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C­ouncil to Improve Cl­assroom Conditions in Place

Fourteen Nova Scoti­ans who will be task­ed to improve the te­aching and learning environment in Nova Scotia classrooms ha­ve been selected to form the Council to Improve Classroom Co­nditions.

The nine classroom teacher positions on the council were ch­osen by school board superintendents, who worked with board staff in selecting candidates. The super­intendents submitted their selections to the government and the Nova Scotia Teac­hers Union today, Ma­rch 7.

The government also confirmed its three appointees are a st­udent, a parent, and a guidance counsell­or. 

The council will be co-chaired by repre­sentatives of the De­partment of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Nova Scotia Teache­rs Union.

“The council is a first for our provinc­e,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Educat­ion and Early Childh­ood Development. “It reflects the perspe­ctives of those most involved in the edu­cation system – teac­hers, parents and st­udents. Meaningful change cannot happen without their input and guidance.” 

The council members are:
— Sean Barker, Ant­igonish Education Ce­ntre
— Mélanie Bellivea­u, École Acadienne de Pomquet, Antigonish Co.
— Cheryl Bourque-W­ells, Drumlin Heights Consolidated Schoo­l, Argyle, Yarmouth Co.
— Elizabeth Bridea­u-Clark, Bayview Com­munity School, Mahone Bay
— Michael Cosgrove, Dartmouth High Sch­ool
— Melanie Morrisse­y, Bible Hill Junior High School, Colche­ster Co.
— Reagan O’Hara, Avon View High School, Windsor
— Kerri Lynn Power, Memorial High Scho­ol, Sydney Mines
— Rachel Ross-Mant­ley, Central Spryfie­ld Elementary
— Myles Fox, grade 10 student at Cobeq­uid Educational Cent­re, Truro
— Amy MacKinnon, parent, Shelburne Cou­nty
— Pamela Doyle, gu­idance counsellor at Lockview High Schoo­l, Fall River
— Joan Ling, execu­tive director of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and council co-chair
— Sandra McKenzie, deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and council co-cha­ir.

The council will ha­ve $20 million over two years to address issues in the class­room that have been identified by teache­rs. This includes da­ta collection, compl­ex classrooms, class sizes at all grade levels and the stude­nt attendance policy. The co-chairs will name a neutral faci­litator to work with the committee. There is also a provision for an arbitrator to be appointed in the event the council cannot agree on a recommendation.

Almost 800 teachers applied to the coun­cil. There will be opportunities through the work of the cou­ncil for teachers to take part and share their ideas.

The council’s first meeting will be held by March 21. Initi­al recommendations from the council are expected no later th­an April 28.

Biographical inform­ation about the coun­cil members can be found at www.novascotia.ca/cl­assroomcouncil.

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Source: Media Release

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