Teachers’ contract changes HPSD calendar

Richard Froese
High Prairie School Division has altered its school calendar for 2017-2018 to accommodate a new contract for teachers.

At its monthly meeting May 17, the board of trustees reviewed required changes to the school year calendar as a result of the newly announced contract with the Alberta Teachers’ Association negotiated by the Government of Alberta, states a news release from HPSD.

“The change in the calendar is necessary to accommodate the new cap on teachers’ operational hours of 1,200 per school year,” says Tammy Henkel, who chairs the board.
“The new cap on assignable hours for teachers has required HPSD to adjust the calendar to decrease both operational days and professional development days.”

New teacher orientation and both divisional professional development days have also been tentatively cancelled.

That will result in an operationally shortened school year while the total number of instructional days has increased by one day.

Additionally, teachers have a cap on instruction time of 907 hours.

Hours of instruction for students has not changed with kindergarten to Grade 9 students requiring 950 hours of instruction and Grade 10-12 students requiring 1,000 hours of instruction.

Changes to the upcoming calendar were made by the HPSD principals.

The updated calendar can be found on the HPSD website.

Trustees additionally approved the request from Holy Family Catholic Regional Division for busing days in the 2017-18 school year.

The board approved a request from Alberta Health Services for space in C.J. Schurter School in Slave Lake for its early childhood intervention program for eight to 10 registered students.

“Its goal is to work with children under school age with a delay or disability or those who are at risk of a delay,” Henkel says.
“They will provide structured play activities specifically aimed at child development intervention to assist with a smooth school transition.”

Last of the board policies under review were finalized.

Trustees reviewed proposed changes to board policies for the role of the superintendent, school closures, and recruitment and selection of personnel.

“This completes the review of all board policies which was done in less than one year with trustees additionally reviewing other school jurisdiction policies to ensure HPSD meets or exceeds current best practices,” Henkel says.

The board received a delegation from the early childhood studies support team.

Members of the team discussed current strategies in place, opportunities being investigated, and successes found with respect to their work with school-based staff.

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