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E a s t e r n   U p d a t e - Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome Back!
There’s no denying it! The kids are back and we’ll be in full swing before you know it! We hope you’ve had a great summer holiday and that the rest and relaxation you’ve accumulated last you well into the fall.

Below is a reminder of the changes to working conditions for the coming year.

Elementary Preparation and Planning Time 2009-2010
Elementary prep time is 210 minutes per week, with every effort to schedule prep time in blocks of no less than 40 minutes. (Ideally, the10 additional minutes will be aggregated over four weeks, to make for meaningful block of time.) Where blocks of prep time in the previous school year were smaller than 40 minutes, there shall be no further reduction in length in this school year.

Please call the unit office if you feel that your schedule does not comply with the above.

Elementary Supervision
Elementary supervision is being reduced to 90 minutes per week, on average over two weeks, with no more than 120 minutes in any one week.

Elementary Report Card Day
There is to be one PA day that is teacher-directed for the purpose of completing report cards. This day has been identified as November 20th.

Elementary teacher-directed PA Day
The two half PA days designated as teacher-directed for classroom related activities such as assessment and evaluation, program development and IEP revision and completion will be combined and fall on March 4th. (Report cards in the second term will be due March 8th.)

Secondary On-calls and Supervision
The number of minutes for on-calls and supervision for this year are 1725. Please keep track of your minutes.

Secondary Staffing
1.8 additional secondary teachers are going to be hired to reduce class sizes. The placement of this staffing is the purview of the Joint Staffing Committee and will be decided in the coming weeks.

Staff Reps
Please contact the Unit Office to let us know the name of the individual who will be the staff rep for your school for the coming year. We will send out a notice soon to confirm the agenda, time and location of the fall Staff Rep in-service.

Several expectant teachers have called the unit office with concern over the H1N1 virus. Provincial OECTA has sent out an E-Agenda and FAQ’s from the Public Health Agency of Canada with regards to H1N1. Please read through these.

It is clear that there is no intention from either any Ontario school board nor the Province to have pregnant teachers stay home, as was the direction taken by two school boards in Quebec. The advice being given at this time to pregnant teachers can be summed up as follows: 1) heed the advice of your obstetrician; 2) practice basic infection control procedures; 3) teach your students basic infection control procedures; 4) know the symptoms of H1N1 and if you develop any of them, speak to your medical professional to decide if antivirals are necessary for you. (In order to be effective, they must be administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.)

Any teachers who have special health concerns should speak to their physician and call the unit president.

According to the Boards’ H1N1 Response Plan, students who become ill while at school should be separated from other children until they can be picked up. Furthermore, all staff and students with Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) should be excluded. Symptoms of the H1N1 flu may include, but are not limited to: rapid onset of fever, cough, sore throat, wheezing, and fatigue; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur; fever may not be prominent.

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