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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Monday, January 12, 2009

Elementary Teacher Half  Day for Assessment
We’ve had a few calls seeking clarification of the half day for assessment at the elementary level.  Only teachers who conduct assessments from the Board’s assessment calendar are eligible.  The time may be used for conducting the assessment, marking the assessment, or in-putting results.  Teachers are required to be in the school during the half day, though, for obvious reasons, they would not be required to be in their classroom.

January 30th PA Day
Exceptionally, for this school year, the two half  Professional Activity days that are to be teacher-directed will be combined to a full day.  It has been agreed between OECTA and the Board that this shall take place on January 30th.  So this P.A. day shall be fully teacher-directed.  However, seven schools had been previously scheduled for an in-service on Restorative Justice on January 30th.  For these schools, the P.A. day that is fully teacher-directed shall take place on May 1st.  The effected schools are:  St. John Elementary; St. Luke Elementary; St. Mary, Carleton Place; St. George; Sacred Heart, Cornwall;  and Immaculate Conception.

Staff Meetings
In accordance with the new collective agreement, a notice is due to be sent to all principals and teachers today outlining best practices around staff meetings.  Teachers are required to attend only one staff meeting of 1hour duration (or the equivalent- eg. two half hour staff meetings) per month.  Exceptionally, a staff meeting may be up to an hour and a half in length.  All other before school or after school meetings are voluntary:  a teacher may, but is not required to attend. 

Elementary Supervision
Just a clarification of an earlier Eastern Update: the number of minutes of supervision required of Elementary Teachers per week is 100 minutes.  This can be averaged over two weeks, with no more that 150 minutes in one week.  Once again, please call the unit office if you are required to do more than this amount.

Six Weeks Sick Leave on the Birth of a Child
More and more teachers are now accessing their sick leave after giving birth.  Teachers are entitled, with a note from their physician, to get sick leave of six weeks in order to recover from child birth.  This brings in substantially more income than EI benefits.  In order to help make your payroll transitions uninterrupted during this time, please advise Human Resources in advance of your intent to access your sick leave.  By doing this, you will not be removed from and subsequently reinstated in the payroll system (with the lag time this entails.)  And don’t forget to advise the Board on the birth of your child.

Drugs and Addiction Magazine Ltd.
This is an information item for teachers involved in educating or counseling students about the perils of drug use.  There is a magazine, available to schools for free, which is an excellent resource for this purpose.  It is called Drugs and Addiction Magazine, and it can be ordered on line at www.dafacts.com.  The magazine is written by a substance addiction counselor, and exposes the dark side of drug use. Teachers will find it very helpful in addressing this serious societal issue.

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