E a s t e r n U p d a t e - Friday, October 18, 2013
Elementary Progress Reports
Elementary Progress reports are being unlocked today. In 2010 when Progress Reports were first introduced, the board clarified expectations regarding how teachers are to complete comments in the learning strategies and subject/strand boxes on the progress report. There have been no changes in this regard since Progress Reports were first introduced. Specifically, the memo issued by the Board said,
“We value teachers’ professional judgment to determine the length and detail of the comment(s) required to convey “personalized, precise, clear and meaningful feedback to parents,” on the subjects(s)/strand(s). For the Progress Report Card, it is not necessary to comment on all the subject(s)/strand(s), nor is it necessary for teachers to fill in all of the available space in the text box.”
This is in-line with the Growing Success policy. It is up to the teacher to decide how much to write and which learning skills and subjects/ strands require comments.
The memo also stated,
“Based on the School Improvement Plans that have been submitted for this year, we anticipate that teachers may take advantage of this opportunity to communicate the progress our students are making in terms of achieving our goal of increased literacy and numeracy achievement for all learners.”
Samples of Literacy and Numeracy were provided on the Board GO site, but whether or not to include literacy and numeracy comments is left up to the teacher’s professional discretion. There is no requirement for literacy or numeracy comments in the Ministry’s Growing Success policy.
Please keep in mind that one of the reasons that Progress Reports were instituted was to reduce elementary teacher workload. Also, it was recognized that November was too soon to be providing much feedback on academic achievement. Therefore the first report card was replaced with a progress report, which was to be stream-lined and quick to complete.
Where Is My Collective Agreement?
Teachers have been asking for copies of the new permanent teacher and occasional teacher 2012-2014 Collective Agreements. To date these have not been published by the Board. Why is this, given that we negotiated a settlement in December 2012?
Most Catholic School Boards across the province are refusing to append the 2012 OECTA Memorandum of Understanding to collective agreements. OCSTA is advising Boards to do so to position themselves to argue in the next round of bargaining that the Fair Hiring Policy and Professional Judgment in Diagnostic Assessment pieces of the MOU are no longer in effect. Our Board is complying with this OCSTA advice, and refusing to append it. The Ministry has issued a letter affirming that the July 2012 OECTA MOU forms a part of the collective agreement, but it seems not to be enforcing the appending of this MOU to collective agreements.
Why is the appending of the 2012 OECTA MOU important? Many articles of the collective agreement are superseded by the 2012 MOU. Such articles include Sick Leave, the Short Term Leave Disability Plan (STLDP), Retirement Gratuities, Hiring Procedures, Salaries, and Maternity Leave Top-up. Some articles only appear in the context of the 2012 MOU, such as the Professional Judgment and Effective use of Diagnostic Assessment clause. So how are teachers to understand their fundamental rights and working conditions when they are not appended to their collective agreement and what is published is out of date? Confusion will be rife if the 2012 MOU is missing.
Moreover, the local changes to the Occasional Teacher collective agreement are substantive. However occasional teacher have not been issued new collective agreements by the school board so as to fully inform them of their rights and obligations arising out of these changes.
This is not a good situation. The Unit is taking the necessary steps to redress this problem.