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Information for Students, Parents and Guardians: Recommendations of the Provincial Council to Improve Classroom Conditions

March 29, 2017

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians:

As you may be aware, last month, the Government established the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, an initiative of the Teachers’ Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvement Act. The Council is to work collaboratively with government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to direct how the province will invest $20 million into classrooms during the next two years.

On March 29, 2017, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey announced today that she has accepted the first 18 recommendations from the Council, and has directed her department and school boards to act on them.

Please note the following recommendations:

PowerSchool

If you currently use the Parent Portal feature of PowerSchool to view your child’s marks, you may notice some changes in the information available to you. Effective April 3, 2017, the following recommendations will apply to PowerSchool:

  • Teachers are no longer required to publish all marks immediately on PowerSchool. Teachers may choose to do so at one set time per month at a minimum, with the specific timeline established within their school. Teachers will continue to mark and provide feedback on tests and assignments, on a regular basis.
  • Teachers are no longer required to publish a mark for every outcome in PowerSchool. They must continue to record marks for outcomes in some form so they have details available to support communication with parents and to inform classroom instruction
    • Please note: This has not been a practice in AVRSB prior to this recommendation.
  • High school teachers are no longer required to enter attendance into PowerSchool until the end of the day. If attendance is not entered into PowerSchool until the end of the day, teachers need to have a paper copy to support safe evacuation in the event of fire or other emergency.

Board/Provincial Assessments

  • Three provincial assessments and exams have been eliminated: Grade 1 Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement, Grade 2 common math assessment, and Grade 10 Math at Work.
  • The Grade 8 reading, writing and math assessment will not take place this year.
  • The Grade 10 exams will not be required this year, but will be available to teachers who want to use them.
  • A five-year moratorium is in place on school board-initiated or provincially-initiated assessments or exams, unless proposals are submitted to and approved by the Council.

More information on the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and its recommendations can be found at www.ednet.ns.ca/classroomcouncil.

Thank you, Wela’lin, Merci

Roberta Kubik, Superintendent of Schools

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