HALIFAX, May 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Some 258 voting delegates to the 94thAnnual Council of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union debated resolutions dealing with issues ranging from ensuring safe schools, and providing appropriate staffing and adequate resources for students with special needs and diverse classrooms, to appropriate time to implement report card changes, and providing appropriate professional development for new initiatives.
"We hope we see more opportunity for collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, to give our input and guidance to ensure that our perspectives are included in upcoming changes to the education system," says NSTU president Shelley Morse.
The Minister's Action Plan states that the current model of inclusive education needs improvement and suggests that a needs-based model of service delivery will be developed. "We are looking to government to ensure that there are the appropriate levels of learning centre teachers in place at each school to meet the needs of students who have severe cognitive, and or social-behavioural deficits."
The annual meeting wrapped up Sunday in Halifax. From May 8 to 10, 66 resolutions were debated. Ensuring that classrooms and school buildings are safe and can be secured in times of emergency was also a focus of debate. "Some of our teachers are working in buildings where they can't even secure classroom doors for lockdowns," says Morse.
Teacher leaders throughout the province also passed a motion to lobby government to provide regional reception and intake centres for newcomer students coming into the Nova Scotia educational system. "Many school age students and families moving to Nova Scotia from other countries arrive in our schools with no transition or preparation," says Morse. "It's critical that all families have equitable access to registration and assessment services for their children."
Heather Smith, president elect of the Canadian Teachers' Federation and former president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Federation addressed delegates on Saturday, May 9. Current second vice president and provincial executive member for Digby-Yarmouth, Wally Fiander, was elected as NSTU's first vice-president for a two-year term. Fiander is a science teacher at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School.
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents 10,000 public school teachers, Community College faculty and professional support staff in Nova Scotia, and teachers who work for the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Since 1895, it has worked to improve the quality of public education for children and youth in Nova Scotia, while promoting and advancing the teaching profession.
SOURCE Nova Scotia Teachers Union
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