Print Friendly

School Board Elections NL 2016

Elections were held on Tuesday, November 22  for the trustees of the English and Francophone school districts. This was the first election for the English School District since 2009 and the first election to use direct voting for the Francophone School District. Below are links to information regarding the school board election.

Election Results

NL English School District
Conseil scolaire francophone provincial de Terre Neuve-et-Labrador
- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Advertisements from the NLTA re School Board Elections 2016

“Ask The Right Questions”
“Adequate Resources”
“Combining Grades”
“Increased Class Size?”
“Properly Funded Kindergarten”
“School Board Election 2016″

Education Issues

∴  Article from NLTA Executive Director Steve Brooks
  BETTER TOGETHER: Report on the Panel on the Status of Public Education in NL 2015-16
∴  BUDGET 2016 – Read the Memorandums concerning the recent budget.
∴  Letter to School Board Nominees from James Dinn, NLTA President
∴  Memo re School Board Elections – Oct. 24, 2016

  Pre-Budget Education Submission 2016

List of Nominees

∴  NLESD
∴ 
CSFPce

Questions and Answers

QUESTIONS FOR SCHOOL BOARD NOMINEES – Answers will be posted when they are received
1) What role should class size composition play in determining class size?
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
3) Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
4) Do you believe Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition should always be top priority when deciding class size.  We have such a diverse range of situations in our classrooms today and by not realizing that, we are putting children in dangerous situations.  You may ask yourself how.  Well, take a child with an allergy that requires an epipen.  That is one daily worry for teachers and parents of this child.  Then you add a child diagnosed with autism who doesn’t have the proper support system in place due to “lack of resources”.  Another child diagnosed with ADHD/ODD/ADD.  Another child with severe asthma.  And the list may continue.  This teacher has a lot on their plate when they are alone.  And in no circumstance should they be teaching the same number of children as a teacher who has a class with one or none of these diagnosis.  We do not live in a cookie cutter world.  Situations need special consideration and attention.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Combined grades when implemented correctly isn’t a bad thing.  But it has to be on a basis where it benefits the students.  It should not be decided based on a class size issue.
This should also be decided by the teachers, parents and faculty directly involved with the students in a particular school.  Under no circumstances should decisions like this be happening because our government or school board are on a budget agenda.
Our government and school board has to figure out a way to support our teachers and children!  BOTTOM LINE!
I am asking for your support to help me make changes in our school system.  To be a voice for our teachers, students and parents.  To ask the questions that need to be asked.  To advocate for the changes that our children need, our teachers are asking for and our parents support.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
When any changes are made in the school system, they should be adequately resourced.  Why would we be making changes that are negatively affecting our children’s education?  When it comes to our schools, any changes that are made need to be in direct response to the benefit of the children with a proven track record of success.  If it is a new and improved idea, at least the people involved need to agree with the changes and all sides need to be open to ideas to improve as the new idea is implemented slowly.
Again this brings me back to greater communication between our teachers, faculty, parents and students and our school board trustees.
We are elected to be the voice for them.  To make decisions based on what they need.  To hold school board accountable.  And I intend to do just that!
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Not only was Full-Day kindergarten not properly resourced but many times areas of our education system are not properly resourced.
There are many teachers with rooms of class materials that are their own to take from position to position.  Why?  Because they care about education.  They care about the children.  And they go out and purchase what they need to ensure that the children learn with the best resources they can make available to them.  The parents and students really have no idea that it is our teachers who are providing many resources with their own donations and money.
Knowing this, I can 100% guarantee, that many kindergarten classrooms were GREATLY lacking the resources needed for the play-based program we were told would be the main focus of Full-Day kindergarten.  The classrooms looked empty when the shelves should have been full of play-based learning toys and materials.  We are very lucky to have such awesome teachers who love kids as much as they love educating them.  Because if they didn’t our kids would be in for a long year!
We also have to realize that over-crowded schools are also not equipped with the space to allow the required outdoor or exercise expected on a daily basis.  And they do expect our teachers to take our children outside for an hour a day.  This isn’t possible in our weather conditions through the winter.  Especially in schools closer to the water/ocean.  In these situations, many schools do not have the space to ensure the gym is free for this hour every day.
There is a huge disconnect between the decisions being made and the actual realistic outcomes of these decisions. And until we have a board of trustees actually doing their job, this disconnect will continue.
When we think about our schools, governing shouldn’t be part of the picture.  The Trustee should be focusing on the children and teachers first.  We are the accountability!!!!.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class sizes should vary depending on the needs within the classroom. Simply put, the greater the range of student needs in the classroom, the fewer students that should be in the classroom. Also, classrooms that have students with a diverse range of needs require supports in terms of student assistants and instructional resource teachers.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
If school’s enrolment supports single grading, then, I believe, that should be the model used at the school for grade configuration. To employ another model, should require whole school community consultations, and a collective decision could be reached.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education as a standard of practice is a most desirable model. However, such a model requires sufficient resources, both material and human. This is an example of where we should “practice what we preach”; we cannot pretend to have an inclusive model, if we are not able to resource it, in the manner that allows students to achieve success.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
This may be a difficult question to answer because the implementation of full day kindergarten is a new phenomenon in educational delivery in this province. In my conversations with teachers, I have not heard many negative comments. Since this is the first year for full day kindergarten, I would suggest that parents and teachers be surveyed at the end of the school year, so that we can gauge its impact and assess if the level of resources applied to the program was sufficient. I do feel that the success of full day kindergarten can be attributed to teachers and administrators who are always dedicated to making new initiatives work in their schools. I also feel that the play-based component of full day kindergarten has been a major factor leading to the success of the program. The one area of concern that I do have is that the level of support provided by instructional resource teachers and student assistants may not have changed significantly. That may speak to the lack of resources applied to the inclusion model.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
It has been stated that class size and class composition are the two faces of the same coin. Class size is, of course, the actual number of students which comprise a class. Class composition, however, refers to the diversity of student needs within the classroom. There may be in a classroom any number of students with identified exceptionalities, such as, behavioural issues, learning disabilities, physical or mental disabilities, or gifted students all looking for support. How can all these students be best served? The answers may be as complex as the situation itself. Gone are the days when schools operated on the premise of one classroom, one teacher and one prescribed curriculum. Today, educators have to make sound and meaningful decisions based on the complexity of what surrounds them.
The issue of class size and class composition was the focus of a study conducted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. The National Teacher Survey used information from nearly 3800 teachers representing 9,894 classes in English and French schools. (CTF, Oct 2011) The findings showed that for teachers, both class size and diversity mattered. One has to be linked to the other.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Students perform best in learning environments that are conducive to a small pupil-teacher ratio. This is true of all students regardless of where they fall on the learning spectrum. However, combining classes can be effective depending on the student activity being highlighted and the desired learning outcomes. Combined classes should only be initiated where circumstances offer no alternate or viable solution.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education has been defined as follows: It means that all students attend their neighbourhood schools in age appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. The amount of research on the topic of Inclusive Education is over whelming. However, one point stands out and is extremely clear. In order for any program to be effective and achieve the prescribed outcomes, it must be adequately supported.
When parents enroll children into a school, it is with the hope and expectation that those children will be given the necessary supports and resources to help them reach their maximum potential. This is the challenge that faces each and every school and it is only through collaboration of all stakeholders in the Education System can this challenge be met.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
The prevailing theory is that full day kindergarten is designed to give a child a strong start in school by providing an engaging, inquiring and play based program.
NLTA has consistently stated that “full day kindergarten must be fully resourced and cannot be financed on the back of the rest of the system.” The Government, on the other hand, views the Full Day Kindergarten implementation in a different light.
By denying access to schools to the candidates in this election, the NLESD has made it virtually impossible to get an accurate, first hand appraisal from those on the front line of the Full Day Kindergarten implementation. However, I know from my experiences in the K-12 system that teachers and parents will use all resources at their disposal to help make it work.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition should be the guiding principle in determining class size. If we use the analogy of the “triage system” in health care, we should take into consideration the individual needs of each student entering a class to determine what the appropriate learning environment should look like and what resources (both human and material) should be applied in maximizing learning outcomes. It should also be measurable to allow educators to make adjustments along the way. In the past we had the Pathways and ISSP model guiding our decisions. However, if we are to believe the recent auditor general’s comments, then there may be concerns about fundamental issues such as our present teacher allocation model and not having the proper assessment tools to determine and evaluate whether or not this model is working and that we are adequately taking into consideration “class composition” when determining class size.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Students perform best in learning environments that are conducive to a small pupil-teacher ratio. This is true of all students regardless of where they fall on the learning spectrum. However, combining classes can be effective depending on the student activity being highlighted and the desired learning outcomes. Combined classes should only be initiated where circumstances offer no alternate or viable solution.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
The simple answer is “Yes”! However, we need to better understand the semantics of being “adequately resourced”. I believe our intentions to be inclusive are sincere. However, when we play around with such terminology as “soft” and “hard” caps in applying teacher allocations and we put pressure on teachers in some areas such as French to create inclusive strategies/plans without proper in-servicing on how to complete them, then we have a serious problem! And on top of that, we do not have enough French-speaking assistants to help out in the classroom when necessity dictates it. This is not isolated to one subject area. My concern is that our preoccupation with fiscal prudence in trimming the overall budget for Education is negatively impacting those who are most affected – the end users being the students and the teachers and their “supports” on the front lines who are feeling the stress of delivering the expectations that are thrust upon them.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I am a big supporter of Full-Day Kindergarten. It’s a little early in the year to reach a verdict on whether or not it is properly resourced, but it is my understanding that there is one glaring omission. We have doubled the amount of time our kindergarten students are in the school during the day but we have not increased the IRT support allocation time accordingly to accompany it. After surveying many schools, I am of the opinion that full-day kindergarten may have been introduced at the expense of the rest of the system. I fully support the implementation and most administrators I have spoken to would agree but “off the record”, they say it came at the expense of other areas such as teacher allocations and resources that were made available to deliver other programming. Once again, fiscal restraints and budget cuts may be the blame in setting high expectations without properly resourcing them.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition is an important factor in determining class size, no child learns in the same way, nor should be expected to learn at the same rate as his or her class mate. If we start taking these issues into consideration, we may discover that it makes more sense to have smaller class sizes for students who require extra help, or perhaps children who are excelling may be able to spend time with students at the next grade. We need to be more flexible, and we should stop expecting our children to be the ones to bend to meet our rigid rules.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Do I support placing children in combined grades? Under the right circumstances placing a child in a combined grade may encourage them to excel academically. However this is not a one size fits all suggestion, other children may suffer from mixed classrooms. I believe there is always a need to think innovatively but never at the expense of our children’s education.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education means all children are welcomed to participate in heir age appropriate regular classrooms. I believe all children should be given the same opportunity to learn, make friends and experience the growth that comes with maturing their minds. I’m uncertain if inclusive education would be the right fit for every child, but we should give every child the same opportunity.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Full day kindergarten is a new endeavour for Newfoundland and Labrador. We will need to carefully review this past year to determine if we need to do better. I believe we have some of the best educators who care deeply about the success of the children they are entrusted with. If our kindergarten teachers do not believe that full day kindergarten has been properly resourced, we should investigate, research and determine how we can do better.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition must have a direct correlation with class size, no exceptions. Every student brings a unique set of values, needs and expectations to school thus requiring a tailored fit that will allow his or her individuality to shine!
Too often, a generic assumption is made that has a generic set of outcomes attached. Such an approach is unacceptable and simply cannot foster academic or social growth and development.
If elected I would listen to those on the front line- the teachers and students that compose our education system.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
When enrollment supports single grading I simply cannot support multigrading. As a former teacher I have experienced both situations and understand when each would work best. Low student numbers are a raised flag to a potential for multigrading but never when numbers are high. As a trustee I would keep a close eye on classroom ratios and create open lines of communication with all parties involved. Once again, those on the front lines know best!

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education needs proper funding in order to properly serve the student, teacher, parent and community. I do believe however that there are exceptions that should allow for a certain composition of the student population to be educated slightly outside the mainstream circle. What I mean is there are students that possess certain needs that simply cannot be met in a typical inclusive system. To adequately serve their needs however, proper resources need to be put in place or else a breakdown in educational development and growth could occur. Improper behaviours in mainstream settings should not be tolerated beyond the point of being the detriment to the hard working student.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Full-day kindergarten is NOT properly resourced, not by any stretch. This program was rolled out prematurely to appease an uninformed electorate. People were blinded by the propaganda that the government to of the day threw out there. Sure, children benefit from more education but not when the proper resources were NEVER put in place. How is it acceptable to shut down an art program to allow for full-day kindergarten? The result of the current full- day kindergarten is an overly burdened staff and a paper thin resource supply…pathetic.
As a side note on student safety, I was part of a parent group responsible for making the public aware of the fact that a pedophile was living in the area of Leary’s Brook and Larkhall. We were successful in getting this individual moved away from our area and having many provisions placed on his file. No such disgusting human being should EVER be allowed to live close to our schools. As your trustee I will fight to keep these people permanently away from our schools and playgrounds.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
As a parent and the wife of a teacher, this is one of my key areas of concern. For years I have witnessed the toll that the “one student = one student unit” policy has on our education system.
Each student in a classroom has unique needs – and as we well know, there are many students who require an extra amount of a teacher’s attention and preparation due to a variety of academic, behaviourial and/or health challenges. These students should be given more equal representation in determining class size.
For instance, let’s take a grade four classroom, which currently has an allocation of 28 students. Of those 28 students, let’s conservatively assume that 15% of those students require extra support of some variety (this will be higher in an English-streamed classroom, but that’s another beef for another day).
Class size should be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine if any of those students requiring extra support will require a greater percentage of the teacher’s time – under this kind of formula, one student requiring extra support may in fact = 1.5 or 2.0 students of the allowed 28 in the classroom.
Without this formula and in our current situation, many (most?) teachers are teaching classes that are actually requiring far more time and effort than the 28 or 31 size limits would indicate. This is increasing teacher stress and ultimately decreasing the quality of education for our children.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
I would only be willing to support combined grades on a case-by-case basis after consultation with the individual school’s administration, affected teachers and school council.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Obviously – isn’t this what we would call a no-brainer? My son is a neuro-atypical with an ASD designation and being able to access in-class supports when they were needed was crucial to his development, success and happiness.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I couldn’t say at this point but I am open to learning more from the teachers, schools and parents who are currently involved in implementing full day kindergarten in our schools.
As a philosophy, I think that full day kindergarten is a great idea. I have seen the stress that the half-day system puts on working families and full days are the norm for students that age in many other parts of the world. I would hope that our schools are being provided with the necessary resources to make this a successful initiative for our province.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class size and class composition is quite possibly the most complex issue facing today’s administrators and teachers. There is no “one size fits all” approach which will work, because it is an ever-changing issue. Today’s inclusionary classrooms have a very broad spectrum of students, with very diverse needs. Government and school boards need to practice what they preach, and fully implement their own “needs based” approach to staffing I.R.T’s and student assistants. If they did, student achievement would be much more likely.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
NO! If enrollment supports single grading, why even entertain the idea? Today’s teachers have to deal with less preparation time ( MANY DO NOT HAVE ANY), extra lunch time duty due to the elimination of lunch time bussing, new curriculum, and a whole host of other demands downloaded from the boards. Combining grades takes much time to plan and dedication by all staff to implement. To suggest doing this, when it is not absolutely necessary, seems to be more of an experiment to see what the result would be. A teacher’s time, and government’s resources, is much too valuable to be wasted on such a whim!

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Yes, the whole premise behind inclusive education is having classrooms adequately resourced so that all students achieve success in the classroom. When inclusive education was first introduced to the people of the province (parents, children, teachers, and administrators), it was reported that adequate resources (personnel and training) would be provided for. Unfortunately, this was not the case. A one or two day in-service for a teacher does not adequately train an educator to meet the needs of this diverse group of students. Most times, there are not extra personnel in the classroom (as promised), so the classroom teacher has to do their best, by themselves, and they do “make it work.” But at what cost? Physical and verbal abuse against classroom teachers has increased. Sick leave levels amongst teachers are the highest they have ever been. This does not have to be the case. If adequate resources were provided for, as promised, students and teachers would witness the success that inclusive education can provide.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Full-Day Kindergarten, like all other grades in the education system, should definitely be properly resourced. In doing so, it is imperative that government not take from other grades to ensure the success of this new project. For too long, government has relied upon the belief (reality) that teachers will “make it work.” It seems that this was their motive behind implementing “Full-Day Kindergarten.” Government was advised to delay this new program by one year, but to the dismay of many, they did not. Three months into the school year is too early to adequately judge its success, but what is known thus far, is that teachers are finding it very overwhelming and demanding. With that being said, I hope government listens carefully to the concerns of kindergarten teachers, school councils, and parents, and provides schools with adequate resources they say they need to make Full-Day Kindergarten a success. “Making it work” may be okay for one year, but subsequent years of having to always go the extra mile, because the program is not adequately resourced, will result in negative results. Nobody wants that!

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition plays a big role in determining class size. There are different levels of ability of children and different learning styles in every classroom. Class size should be a direct result of the make-up of the classroom. There cannot be a cookie cutter approach from the Department of Education with respect to pupil teacher ratio.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Absolutely not! It may have been done years ago, but is not an answer to quality education today.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education must be part of our education system, so , naturally it has to be resourced. It’s a no brainer. How can we expect to meet Canadian Standard Results if teachers are not given the tools to do the job?
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I have not been privy to all the information, but in my conversation with teachers, I have heard that it has not been properly resourced. When I hear the minister suggesting that the teachers pick up supplies from dollar store, I become more skeptical about resources being in place.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition and size should vary depending on the varying needs and ability to provide resources to those within the classroom. For me, this assertion is directly interconnected with an inclusive education model.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
I unequivocally support single student grading where enrolment numbers support such policy. Having had a family member in our household complete most grades in a combined classroom, I know full well how combined classrooms puts our children at a disadvantage to their peers in single grade classrooms. The only situations where I would entertain supporting combined classrooms is in schools with very low enrolments numbers. This option would further support keeping community based schooling models open.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Absolutely! Inclusive education is a model I adamantly support; however, we are fooling only ourselves if we believe we are truly providing such a model. If the classroom and the students’ individual needs are not sufficiently and properly resourced, we are not offering an inclusive education. When pupils and classroom needs are not sufficiently met, we are doing a disservice to everyone. We must ensure every effort is made before school commences each September in that every pupil is resourced appropriately and that their individual and classroom needs are being met by regularly scheduled follow-up throughout the school year.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I have not heard directly any comments regarding full-day kindergarten resourcing. I would have to reserve judgement until I heard more from parents and teachers. As full-day kindergarten is new to our education system this year, I would support and encourage a full review with pertinent stakeholders to ensure lessons learned are immediately followed up on.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
It should be a no-brainer; class composition has to be a major determinant of class size. Today’s classroom is comprised of a broad spectrum of students with individual learning needs and the classroom teacher is at the centre of whether all those students will succeed. The size of the classroom directly impacts on whether the teacher can provide the necessary support to allow success for all. Of course, adequate class sizes are achieved through the Teacher Allocation Formula. Just recently, the province’s Auditor General issued a failing grade on how past governments has misused and abused said Formula.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
NO! Though it may be a necessary evil in small rural schools, multi-grade classrooms are a regressive step. It makes absolutely no sense in cases where enrollment supports single grading. Case closed.

3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
But of course inclusive education should be adequately resourced. What I find most disconcerting is that inadequately resourced inclusive education was an issue when the ISSP and Pathways Model were introduced in the mid-nineties. To think that some 20 years later, the situation has only moderately improved is a stinging indictment of our educational system and those who are responsible for it.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I have to admit that I have not been following this issue and don’t want to offer a definitive answer without more information and insight. However, I will say that its introduction seemed a bit of a rush job and given this government’s austerity budget and cutbacks, I would be inclined to be quite doubtful that it is. Also, given the stated skepticism of two key stakeholders, Federation of School Councils and the Newfoundland Teacher’s Association, I am inclined to be even more doubtful.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
When it comes to class size, I believe that if there are a percentage of students with disabilities/allergies…those students maybe should be split between the number of teachers and their classes for that grade. for example I do not think that one teacher should have 20 students in their  class….none with any disabilities and another teacher have a class with lets say 5 children with ADHD, dyslexia or allergies. split those students up or have that teacher get extra help during their classes. I don’t believe that is fair to the teachers or the children. This is a very sensitive subject when it comes to education because now more than ever there are more allergies and learning disabilities that we know of then there ever was in schools. if a teacher has to have a class with a higher percentage of students who are having troubles then that teacher should have an aid to help him/her deal with those situations properly. Teaching to a lot of people who do it is not a job, its a lifestyle.  they are the parents to our children when they go to school and rightfully so, they should have all the help they need to make sure our children are learning and coming home safe. communication between parents and teachers is key here, we need to get together and decide on a plan that is going to work for both parties and offer the best education and environment for our children.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
I think when it comes to multi grading, it should only be done if the resources are there to properly do so. multi grading is an issue that needs to be looked at very closely. if a teacher has three grades in one class, there needs to be some kind of program implemented so that the teacher is getting the most out of their time with the students. some ideas I have heard from teachers on the subject have been saving the harder subjects like biology and math for when there are less multi grading going on and having the subjects that could be easier to teach to a group like art, music and physical education, taught to the multi grade classes. this is just an example for instance. the main idea would be to make sure that teaching is not being done just for the average student, if there are any students with learning problems, we don’t want those to fall behind and also any students who are striving in class shouldn’t be getting bored. one on one teacher time is also important, if multi grading is going to cause teachers to be overwhelmed, then it may have to be an issue that has to be addressed.  all of these issues have and should be discussed amongst teachers and parents to best implement a great program that works well for all involved.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Absolutely, every student in school should have the opportunity to get the best education possible. Teachers are the main component in this and should get all the help that they need and resources to do so. When it comes to children with learning disabilities, there should be improvements on how and what teachers do to help make their transition into learning as easy as possible. teachers are stressed and overworked for the most part when it comes to certain situations in school. more IRT support would be a good idea, more resources for students with special needs and more training for parents would be great ideas. Communication between teachers and parents so ideas can be shared is a must also. more school counselors may be a good idea and the finances should be implemented so that teachers have what they need to make their jobs easier on both them and the students they are teaching.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Full day Kindergarten could be a great idea if it is done properly. It would take some time for kids to get use to it I would think. having a program in place where a child is being taught all day while still keeping their interest, would be a good idea. I heard that the Early Beginnings Program was a good curriculum for teaching but it was a full day program being taught in half a day. maybe now with full day it can be reintroduced? I would like to note that if there are going to be too many children per class and that situation causes a teacher to feel overwhelmed, then the student/ teacher ratio might have to be relooked at. I feel that as of now there are to many students per class for one teacher. Finland’s education system shows use that socializing through play works well, settling arguments through play works with children and theme based learning works well. granted Finland’s education system has children not starting school till the age of 7, I feel that they have some very good ideas that could be implemented into our schools in Newfoundland. I’ve said it plenty of times throughout the last four questions but communication is key with all of these changes or changes to come. Teachers are very important and we need to do what we can to help make the transition from school to adulthood the best possible experience while giving those teachers as mush help as they need.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition should play a major role in determining class size. As a classroom teacher of 30 + years I know first-hand that classes differ widely from each other even in the same grade and in the same subject. Additional inclusion has placed additional stress on the classroom teacher due to inadequate supports.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
No. Combined classes should only be a last-ditch alternative. Single-grade classrooms are challenging enough without the additional stress and workload of combining different classes.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Yes. Inclusive education is a principle we all support. However, placing children in inclusive situations without providing the proper resources – including teacher training – is unacceptable.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
No. Reports “from the field” indicate that the implementation should have been delayed until the proper resources were made available for all children. Teachers will “make it work” as usual but such a massive change required an equally massive provision of resources.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
There are no easy answers for this. Not only are there different categories for child with special needs but there are different degrees of mental, physical, emotional, and behavioural issues that do not easily fall into a “simple” classification system. Diversity within a classroom is a wonderful thing and while there are many benefits to this type of composition, there are many challenges that have to be taken into account
I have a child that requires more support than most of the children in the classroom. Fortunately the school has enough support staff to help him. And we provide a fair bit of additional support outside of the school setting. If there were too many children in the class that required significant amounts of assistance, and there were not enough support staff, then there would be significant challenges for both the teacher and the school. And the students would not be receiving the attention they need to perform well.
So a suitable class size, taking into account both the class composition and support staff, would be a better system. Class composition, by itself, is not enough. Class composition should not play a role unless there was not enough support staff to assist the teacher and the student. There is the need for additional factors to be taken into account for anything like class size.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Yes and no. Teachers have a difficult job and not every teacher is an effective educator, although I believe that this can be taught. This becomes even more difficult with a combined grade as there is an increased variety in student ability. It is not the same as teaching a straight class and it becomes more difficult to meet the needs in such a challenging environment, especially if you throw in students with special needs and lacking support structures.
As enrolment numbers fall I can see the need for combining grades. But parents want to make sure that the needs of the child are met. Dealing with these concerns is a necessity to ensure the acceptance and support of the parents. And effective teachers are an important element of any combined class since having various lessons going on simultaneously is critical. Being able to assess and meet the needs of different students throughout the year is just as important.
I support combining grades not only because of demographics and economics but also if collaborative support is provided to the teacher. With the right support models, effective teachers, and transparency with parents, I see few concerns for families of these students.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
This should not even be a question. Should every child have the support that they require to fulfil their educational needs? Yes. While there can be economic challenges every attempt should be made to ensure that each child has the same opportunity to achieve their learning needs. And some students will require more support than others but discrimination and exclusion should not be the reason that they are lacking in the educational support.
There needs to be some changes in our educational system to deal with exceptionalities. We should be working together to make a school system that is inclusive, both socially and academically. We need to ensure that all students feel accepted and supported. It should be a system that is challenging so that they learn and develop. And it should be a system that celebrates differences, not make everyone the same.
Having adequate support staff for challenging students is only part of the solution. Teachers need to be responsive to each student, with respect to ability, engagement, and level of challenge. The system cannot continue to isolate the teachers in their own classrooms and not take a more proactive and creative approach to ensuring our children reach their educational potential.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I have a child in Kindergarten this year. This is the first year that full-day Kindergarten has been in place and I have noticed that there have been some challenges. While much has been done to ensure that the teachers are prepared, it is only a couple of months into a system that is still learning and developing an effective curriculum.
With the increased to full-day, there should not be a corresponding increase in the curriculum. There should be more of a focus on play, with increased activities (both inside and outside), more social interaction, and focused individual engagement. There are many more opportunities to enhance child development, and still keep them from focusing on academics at too early an age.
I believe that there should be more resources put into providing parents with additional information regarding their child’s progress. I think there should be more time spent creating an inclusive environment where diversity is developed and celebrated. And yes, I believe that full-day Kindergarten is not quite properly resourced. But that is partly because they are still learning what will work best in a brand new classroom environment.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition should be crucial in any determination of class size. Students bring to the classroom different academic skills and diverse learning needs. By pairing class size to the academic skills and learning needs of a student, it allows the teacher to better adapt their teaching to the student skills/needs within his/her class.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Having received my K-12 education in an all-grade school with multi-grading due to enrolment (Cottrell’s Cove Academy), it is my belief that a teacher can be better prepared to provide more effective teaching when they focus on preparing a particular subject lesson for one grade level. The demands of providing Math instruction to three grade levels within one classroom, for example, can impact the time available to focus on each grade individually within that single classroom session. While it may be the case that students in a class who are academically stronger can do well and adapt in a multi-grade classroom, it may not be true for all students.  It is the student who struggles academically we must also consider in this scenario, the student who may not receive the quantity of guidance and direction needed from their teacher.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
As can be appreciated, students have different academic abilities and needs within the school. Within the current system, those students who have the most difficult challenges are prioritized to obtain support and available resources first. The availability of student supports within a school will determine if all students who need support will receive the necessary amount on a continuous and consistent basis. Most schools, if not all, experience the challenge of being adequately resourced to ensure that all students receive the necessary support to ensure academic success.  This, in turn, places increased pressure on classroom teachers to provide inclusive and instructional supports for a class size that is often large and unrealistic for one teacher to provide.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
While it is recognized that full-day Kindergarten has been successful in other jurisdictions, it should not come at the disadvantage of other students. Unfortunately, at the time of implementation in NL there were also provincial financial pressures that restricted the funding needed to fully resource the implementation of full-day Kindergarten. This, in turn, led to cost-cutting measures (such as an increase of class size in other grade levels) in order to accommodate the need for resources at the Kindergarten level. As a result, it appears that other grades were reduced in funding in order to implement full-day kindergarten for children in this province.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class composition ought to be considered when determining the class size. Currently, it is determined by the number of students without considering the individual needs of the students involved. The more individual needs required for students demonstrates the necessity to have a smaller class size. Likewise, if there are little additional needs or supports required, the class size would be able to be larger. Furthermore, at the high school level it is equally important to ensure the type of teacher (subject training and background) are made available for a proper curriculum. Unfortunately, the current teacher allocation model is numbers and budget based, rather than needs based.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Not at all. When the school enrollment justifies single grading, combined grading should not be considered. However, when the enrollment is low and the demographics or geography creates additional challenges, combined grading made be necessary to continue the opening of the school. In these situations, it is important to ensure the teachers are properly prepared and supported, as teaching in a combined grade adds additional pressures and workload.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Of course, inclusive education must be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success. I would consider the lack of support services towards an inclusive education the #1 issue in the NL School System today! I am sure everyone would agree with the importance of an inclusive education system in our society. However, the success of an inclusive education system depends on providing sufficient supports to the students, teachers and administrations.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
While I believe that the new Full-Day Kindergarten program will be successful due in large part to the efforts of our teachers and administrators, I am of the opinion that Full-Day Kindergarten may have been introduced at the expense of the rest of the K-12 education system. In a year where we are introducing a new program, we are experiencing significant reductions and cuts to other area’s which will have negative consequences for our students. Back to our under resourced Inclusion Model, while we have had an increase in the number of full time students with the introduction of Full-Day Kindergarten, we did not see an equivalent number of additional supports services in IRT’s and students assistants. More and more students are entering our education system with identified needs, therefore, equivalent additional resources are required to ensure all our students are successful.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Class size should be reflective of the challenges within the classroom. That being said, the inclusionary model shows that children with special needs are to be distributed as equally as possible among all the classes in a particular grade. This inclusionary model would really work well if enough Instructional Resource Teachers were allotted to the school board by the Department of Education. (While the school district allocates these units to the schools, the Department of Education controls the formula which determines how many such teachers exist in our schools.)
The second type of class composition which should be considered here is the number of grades represented in any one classroom. Multi Aging and Multi Grading were a way of life long before the recent Combined Class scenario. There is a formula for the number of children in a multiage class but there are cases when it just cannot work well. Imagine teaching 3 grades of junior high Math in the same classroom at the same. It happens!
In truth, if enough teachers were hired, the issue of class size & composition would be impacted in a positive way.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Before any class combining, multi-aging, or multi-grading goes ahead certain questions need to be raised.
• Will this move benefit the students?
• Has the curriculum planning for this move taken place?
• Have the teachers been given enough time to help plan this movement?
• Has that plan been communicated to all the teaching staff and to the parent body?
• Have the parental concerns been investigated and worked out?
• Have the concerns of the teaching staff been investigated and worked out?
If the answer to any one of these questions is NO, then the process should not go ahead. As the former principal of a school that has embraced multi-aging since 2002, I can affirm that the amount of planning that goes ahead to make a multiage system work properly is enormous, and that dedication to making it work can have real rewards. I simply look at the 2016 graduating class of Stella Maris Academy, a group who were in multi-age classes right from kindergarten, and I know that multi-aging can and does work. Of the 12 students in that group, 66% graduated with honors and 33% graduated with academic diplomas. Each person in the group achieved graduation. This was the crowning glory of a cohort that achieved much over the years.
To be properly operated, a class combining scenario will work if everybody is on board and rowing in the same direction. This is usually achieved by collaboration between all stakeholders. In any other situation, the risk of failure is far higher.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusion cannot work positively unless it properly resourced. This is true of all educational initiatives. As I have said earlier, more work needs to be done in this area.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Sadly, this does not appear to be the case. Bringing on both full day kindergarten and play based learning in a time of economic stress was a bold move. While I’m sure the people tasked with resourcing this change worked very hard, all the wrinkles have not been ironed out. Unfortunately some have been heard to murmur, “to scrounge or not to scrounge, that is the question”.
It really is something else when the government of the day actually publicly expects teachers to come up with supplies.
Full day kindergarten is not a new concept in this province. There are several small multiage schools which have had FDK for years. At Stella Maris Academy, FDK has been in place for 14 years and has worked because of proper resourcing. Now however, the addition of play based learning puts a whole new slant on how teaching and learning in primary multi-age classes takes place.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Number of students in an area, but should not exceed 20 students, there is also the effect of learning abilities and instruction shown to increase in smaller class sizes.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
Yes based on the number of students and the viability of retaining a school in areas for K to 6 school, this would reduce fatigue during long bus rides.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Yes 100 % this is the focus of my Platform, the problem exist in the definition, many do not understand what Inclusion means.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
No Full day kindergarten has not been given proper resources, Just to implement because the books were ordered is not good enough, the system and school we certainly not prepared for this.

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
As President of the NLFS, I campaigned relentlessly, to bring forth a better awareness of the challenges facing classroom teachers. One of the greatest challenges is the result of the provincial government failing miserably to provide the necessary resources to make inclusive education work.  The number of special needs children (from intellectual and physical disabilities, to emotional and behavioral issues)and  ESL students, in any given classroom can change the dynamics of the whole. Without an adequate number of counsellors and teacher assistants to meet the diversity of the student population, teachers are finding it harder and harder to meet the needs of every classroom.  I would like to see composition numbers tat  reflect the reasonable ability of educators to meet the needs of every child. Our teachers should not have to face significantly different workloads based on the composition of a class. As stated on my webpage – www.edumatters.ca –
• We to meet the serious mental health and addiction issues faced by our students. I would work towards finding the resources to implement the recommendations of the NL Councillors and Psychologists Association and the NL Federation of School Councillors. This would see a ratio of 1 Guidance Counsellor for 250 students and Educational Psychologists at 1:1000 students.
• I will work towards ensuring that the provincial government provides the resources to make inclusive education work.
• I am opposed to the slow and methodical policy of the provincial government to increase cap sizes. The province should re-establish the cap sizes recommended by the Teach er Allocation Commission Report.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
No. As President of the NLFSC, I came out swinging against split grading – unless it is absolutely necessary,  as in the case of small rural schools. The priority in determining class sizes should be the need of students not attempts by government to hire less teachers. At the very least I would like to see split classes abolished for grades undergoing standardized testing.  Additionally, if the practice is going to continue (for fiscal reasons), teachers with increased workloads should be provided with the support and training to teach these classes instead of expecting them to adapt to extra workloads.
From personal experience, as a father  of a child who has challenges focussing, I do not feel combined classes offer him the monitoring or the environment he needs to learn.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Yes. The provincial government is failing all of our students when the refuse to adequately resource inclusive education. Every classroom in our province is unique, the cookie cutter approach to education is no longer effective. The broad scope of individual diversity in each classroom demands that classroom teacher receive adequate supports  to achieve the highest possible educational outcomes.
Teachers, administrators and all students deserve the resources they need to make inclusive education a success. Teachers and students need the professional training, resource teachers, councillors and adequate teaching assistants for teacher and student success. I do not feel that government or the public appreciate the time and effort that goes into preparing education plans, education material, accessing students and balancing inclusive classrooms with out adequate resources.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
Despite the evidence to the contrary, many programs in our schools are not properly resourced. School councils are raising money for computer servers and other educational needs that should be provided by government. Teachers should not be on the hook for resources to teach children. Some schools can fundraise easier than others. All children should have access to the same materials and resources demanded for any program. I asked this question earlier in the year when I was president of the NLFSC, does Minister Kirby have to purchase pens, paper and servers to do his job?

1) What role should class composition play in determining class size?
Given we have such a big difference in the classrooms in this province we need to be able to step out side the box in accessing the needs of each classroom if the number of students is also out side the norm.
SPACE
2) Do you support placing students in combined grades when enrollment supports single grading?
When a school has sufficient numbers for separate classrooms in the grade level I disagree with multi grading.
SPACE
3)
Do you think inclusive education should be adequately resourced so that all students can achieve success in the school system?
Inclusive education has never been funded to provide equal education. There needs to be a full review of how student assistant positions are allocated.
SPACE
4)
Do you believe that Full-Day Kindergarten is properly resourced?
I agree Full day Kindergarten is not properly planned and implemented and the level of resources is totally inadequate.

space