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BB. Teacher Allocations and Declining Enrolments

1. Consolidation of schools should only be encouraged and promoted where such consolidation would be beneficial to the academic and social development of the students involved. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

2. Consolidation should be undertaken in accordance with an agreed set of guidelines. These guidelines might include:

a) an increased educational opportunity;

b) an assessment of the educational needs of the community or communities concerned;

c) the existence of a strong school-community relations program before and after the consolidation process;

d) every effort being made to incorporate new students in the consolidated school unit, especially students coming from smaller communities to a large one;

e) consideration of cost factors such as bussing, cafeteria, etc.;

f) the wishes of the parents. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM] 

3. In areas where consolidation of schools would serve the best interest of students, community or neighbourhood schools should be encouraged and government support for the same should be solicited. [Jan/8-9/99] [1999 BGM]

4. The per pupil grant should be adjusted each year to keep pace with inflation and provide for increasing demands in education. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

5. Grants should be allocated to reflect local needs and local costs.

6. Every effort should be made to increase the total educational budget by increasing the size of the various grants.

7. The Department of Education should initiate the establishment of a core curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade Nine. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

8. Teacher allocations should be needs-driven/school developed and community sensitive. A process for ensuring that this occurs should include the following elements:

a) the completion of an annual school profile by every school, outlining the needs of the total student population and identifying the resources, both human and physical, that would be required to deliver the courses and programs to all students enrolled at the school;

b) the completion of community profiles, developed in conjunction with regional economic development boards, to be used to consider not only the immediate needs of the school and students, but also the needs of the community served by the school in the formulation of a teacher allocation process;

c) the establishment of an Independent Provincial Staffing Committee to review each school profile and determine the appropriate teacher allocation. The Provincial Staffing Committee would have equal representation from the Department of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador School Boards Association and the NLTA. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

9. The Department of Education should continually monitor the delivery of curriculum offerings via distance to ensure optimal experiences for both teachers and students. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

10. Memorial University should review and reassess its teacher education program with a view to:

a) equipping teachers with a more diverse professional background;

b) emphasizing the importance of providing continuing professional development to teachers who are presently in the field;

c) providing opportunity for teacher training personnel to spend some time in schools and, specifically, in the classroom, to update their knowledge of the current situation and relevant problems. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

11. The bursaries currently paid to students who must leave their communities to continue their education should continue and be increased annually to reflect increases in the cost of living. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]

12. A thorough examination of itinerant teaching should be undertaken by the Department of Education. This examination should include:

a) an assessment of current practices in the province, including the role of itinerant teachers;

b) cost of travel to school boards;

c) approaches to scheduling necessary to permit greater exchange and cooperation among schools and boards. [Nov/27/08] [JC Feb/09] [2009 BGM]