Pedagogical News Laurier Teachers’ Union Volume 14 Edition 1
Here are some of the frequently asked questions that I answer at the beginning of every school year…
When does resource start for our special needs students?
Right away! The schedule might be flexible the first week back, but by the time you have gone through a full cycle it should become consistent. The Teacher Council should have recommended the orientation (grade level distribution, subjects covered) last year, so the schedule can be created. The resource schedule can change a few times throughout the year depending on the changing needs.
Are remedial teachers responsible for testing the whole school twice a year (DRAs)?
No! This has been repeatedly discussed at the Parity special needs committee at the board level. SWLSB and LTU representatives agree that resource teachers can use the DRA tool to monitor the progress of their students (the special needs students receiving resource time), but that they should not be used to assess all students. There are limited budgets to support the integration of our special needs population, so let’s not remove any precious time from them.
When do the IEPs go out to parents?
The IEP from the previous academic year is in place until reviewed by the current team. Please review your students’ IEPs and start taking notes of the accommodations/adaptations that work or don’t. If the student is working on a modified level of instruction, please ensure that the student continues to follow their modified level.
Schools will be receiving an allocation to release teachers for IEP purposes, so discuss as a staff the most effective way that this will work at your school. IEPs should be reviewed as a team either by: (1) releasing teachers (2) using common prep times (3) during certain staff meetings (4) utilizing portions of your ped days.
Although there is no deadline by which the IEPs need to be sent home, you want the parents to be on board and the document signed for your records. When the first term report card goes home, the parent should be aware that it is based on the IEP adaptations or modifications.
When is the SLSNC workshop?
The SLSNC workshops are being held on different days in each region. The SLSNC chair and the principals will be convocated to the meetings. The principals will inform you of the date he has registered for your school. Silvia Patella (Assistant Director of Pedagogical Services) and I will be presenting the new SLSNC binder and the process for requesting funds from Parity as well as the mandate of the committee. If the chairperson cannot attend, please send a replacement (another SLSNC member).
STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES IN EVALUATION
Every year school teams meet to review the “Standards and Procedures in Evaluation” document before the end of June. It is essential that this discussion takes place on the parameters for evaluation at your school to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It is possible that your school reviews it during the first weeks of the new school year. If you have not reviewed this document yet, it is not too late! There is nothing which prevents modifications during the school year to account for changes that occur, as long as parents are informed of these changes. This document does not need to be extremely detailed. You should give teachers leeway by stating the types of evaluations (i.e. oral presentations, quizzes, tests, end-of term/year evaluations, etc.), not the specific number for each.
There are different types of year-end exams:
- Optional • Highly Recommended • Board Mandated • MEES Uniform Exams
As per the Education Act, article 231:
Every school board shall ensure that each school evaluates student achievement and administers the examinations imposed by the Minister.
A school board may impose internal examinations in the subjects it determines at the end of each cycle of the elementary level and at the end of the first cycle of the secondary level.
This means that teachers MUST administer and correct: • Board Mandated AND • MEES Uniform Exams
All other exams (i.e. optional or highly recommended) are not imposed. They do not need to be in your Standards and Procedures document. If you chose to include them, they then become compulsory for you.
There are responsibilities for both teachers and principals in a school. Ideally, developing the standards and procedures should be a collaborative effort between both groups. The process should involve dialogue between the teaching staff and the principal so that the final proposal will have the agreement and support of both parties.
Let’s recap…Your document should include:
- Will the document be per teacher, per level, per department?
- What are the main evaluations for each subject?
- The document does not have to include a detailed description of every single evaluation that you use.
- Are there any end of term or end of year exams? How much will they be worth?
- What happens when a student is absent for an exam (teacher created, board or MEES mandated)?
- How will the information be sent to parents?
Applications for all workshops must be entered online, at least 3 weeks prior to the beginning of the workshops. All personal receipts must be kept for reimbursements.
You must send your individual reimbursement claim through internal mail with the original receipts. Keep a copy for your records. Use the check list to make sure all is sent in for a smoother process.
If you are sharing a room, please send in copies of charges from credit card for the room. The daily amount for food can be spent without itemization for breakfast, lunch and supper for overnight workshops, for the day of the workshop. (Receipts are still needed). If you are being charged in US currency, send in a copy of the credit card statement for the correct exchange.
If issues occur, please email me with the details. I can often help resolve issues.
All applications for you to have a student teacher for this school year are due September 13th. Please fill out the form that was sent to you from PSD. Many students are looking for cooperating teachers.
TEACHER TRAINING ALLOCATIONS (FOR COOPERATING TEACHERS)
The teacher training committee has met and have agreed on this year’s allocations.
If you have a student teacher, you will be paid on the last December pay (the payment is always the following school year).
Stage 1: $150.00
Stage 2: $400.00
Stage 3: $600.00
Stage 4: $700.00
Note: If you accept a student teacher from McGill’s M.A.T.L. Masters program, your compensation for a year 1 and 2 stage will be equivalent to the stage 3 and 4 of the bachelor’s degree.
In order to receive your payment on time, please ensure that you have duly completed:
-The Cooperating Teacher Form (Before receiving a student teacher) AND
-The Student Verification Form (After the stage is completed by the student teacher)
In addition to the teachers receiving this amount, you also have access to a separate allocation through the school.
Stage 1 Intern: No additional allocation
Stage 2 Intern: $40 allocation. It may be used in full towards a gift, end-of-stage lunch, or any teacher purchased materials (reimbursement with receipts)
Stage 3 and 4 Intern: $100 allocation. $40 max to be used towards a gift or end-of-stage lunch (reimbursement with receipts), and the remainder ($60) to cover for photocopies & lamination costs, school materials/supplies, or teacher purchased materials/supplies (reimbursement with receipts).
Please advise the school principal before using this allocation. The school will reimburse you once you submit the receipts.
As you are all aware, all elementary schools and high schools are mandated by the Ministry of Education to integrate Sexuality Education into existing classes. This is the second year of its implementation and hopefully it will go as smoothly as last year. Contact Elaine Dalbec at PSD if you have any questions or you need some resources.
An e-mail went out on September 3rd, to all elementary school teachers, concerning the new pre-k training. It is being offered on-line by the government.
Director of Pedagogical Affairs