Student absenteeism remains unaddressed

HALIFAX, May 23 /CNW/ - The 89th Annual Council of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union wrapped up Sunday in Halifax. Over two-and-a-half days, 269 voting delegates debated some 80 resolutions dealing with issues ranging from seeking additional resource teachers at the Primary to 3 level to discussing the negative effects the lack of a meaningful attendance policy is having on Nova Scotia's students.

"The Minister needs to act on the absenteeism report now," says NSTU president Alexis Allen. "We're losing students and can't wait years for a policy to be put in place to help school boards, schools, administrators and teachers provide a full slate of options and support to encourage and require attendance, and keep students in school."

The Department of Education Promoting Student Engagement: Report of the Minister's Working Committee on Absenteeism and Classroom Climate, was released on January 27. It includes 13 recommendations that provide a strategy to improve student attendance and to motivate student learning. The Minister sought public input on the report up until March 12, but is still not prepared to implement the recommendations.

On Sunday, Eric Boutilier was elected as first vice-president of the Union for a one-year term. Boutilier is a guidance counsellor at Bible Hill Junior High School, and most recently served as NSTU's second vice-president.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents some 10,900 public school teachers, and administrators, community college faculty and community college professional support employees.

SOURCE Nova Scotia Teachers Union

For further information: For further information: Angela Murray, (902) 497-0194 (cell)

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