Information for Students and Parents/Guardians Regarding Recommendations of the Provincial Council to Improve Classroom Conditions

March 29, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:                                                    

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 will 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 school years.

Today, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey announced that she has received the 18 initial recommendations from the Council and has directed her department and school boards to act on them. 

Please note the following specific recommendations:

PowerSchool

Effective Monday, April 3, 2017, the following recommendations apply to PowerSchool:

  • Teachers are no longer required to publish all marks immediately on PowerSchool.  They 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 communications with parents and to inform their instruction.
  • High school teachers are no longer required to enter attendance into PowerSchool until the end of day.  If attendance is not entered into PowerSchool until end of day, teachers need to have a paper copy to support safe evacuation in the event of fire or other emergency.

Board/Provincial Assessments

  • The following provincial assessments and exams have been eliminated:
    • Grade 1 Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement
    • Grade 2 Common Math Assessment
    • Grade 10 Math at Work Provincial Exam
       
  • 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- or provincially-initiated assessments or exams, unless proposals are submitted to and approved by the Council.

Please also note that additional information on the Council’s work and recommendations may be accessed at novascotia.ca/classroomcouncil.

Sincerely,

Ford Rice
Superintendent of Schools