Friday, September 6, 2019 (St. John’s NL)
The NL Federation of School Councils (NLFSC) says the delay in the hiring of teachers has some school councils, parents, and teachers worried about the impact it will have on students.
“Over the past week some of our membership have expressed concern that many teaching positions in their child’s school have not been finalized. They are worried it will cause unnecessary disruptions to students,” says Don Coombs, President of NLFSC. “Substitute teachers are in place until the hiring is completed, however many parents are concerned that switching teachers will be a difficult adjustment for students, particularly those in the primary grades where consistency is important. Some also worry there are not enough substitute teachers to fill the positions – or to cover sick days throughout the school year.”
NLFSC hopes the issue will be addressed as quickly as possible.
“We understand the English School District are doing their best to navigate through the implications of the new NLTA collective agreement clause as it pertains to hiring – and most teachers should be in place within a couple of weeks.”
Coombs says his group has forwarded their concerns to the Minister of Education, English School District and the NLTA.
“We firmly believe government, the NLTA, and the English School District want the best for our students and the education system. We encourage them to find a collaborative solution, so we do not see a repeat of this next year. We will be meeting with Minister Warr in the next few weeks and this topic will be included on the agenda for discussion.”
In the meantime, NLFSC will continue to advocate on issues which impact the learning and well-being of students.
“Increased student assistant time, adequate resources for Teaching Learning Assistants, class size, inclusion, mental health and addictions, and an increase to the Guidance Councillor allocation, are among our advocacy goals for this year,” says Coombs.
“We will also continue to monitor the implementation of the recommendations stemming from the Education Action Plan. There have been many improvements and initiatives in the education thus far, however we must hold government accountable if the conditions in our schools do not continue to improve.”
Another primary goal of NLFSC is to engage parents as much as possible in their children’s learning. “We all know learning begins at home and parents are their child’s first teacher. School councils can play a major role in promoting the benefits of positive parental involvement in school,“ says Coombs.
For more information please contact:
Don Coombs, President NLFSC