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.