N.B. Anglophone school districts changing some PD days from full to half days
Changes are coming to how professional development days work at New Brunswick’s four Anglophone school districts in the next school year.
The change comes after a decision to split some of the professional development days from full days into a series of half days.
Although the amount of professional learning time will not change, officials say it’s meant to give staff the opportunity to meet on a more regular basis.
“A lot of these half days will be school based, so it gives the teachers an opportunity to work through their goals, their school improvement plan, which is their road map for their school,” said Anglophone South School District superintendent Zoe Watson.
Watson said it’s been done in the Francophone districts with success.
“Parents have found it a good time to schedule appointments,” she said. “I’m thinking of doctors appointments or dentists appointments or hair appointments, other appointments because they will be a little bit more regular.”
This change will require adjustments, however.
According to Theresa Rogers, who chairs the Parent School Support Committee at St John the Baptist/ King Edward school, the change could cause issues surrounding lunch service for students. The school is in one of Saint John’s priority neighbourhoods.
“In our neighbourhood there would be additional concern due to the fact that a lot of our students’ main meal of the day is the one they receive at school,” Rogers said. “So we certainly have to arrange for a shift in the time in which we deliver that lunch service for them”.
The importance of professional development is not being discounted and for Rogers personally she would prefer a half-day scenario.
“If they’re not going to go at all, I would prefer they come for a half a day,” she said. “Receive that instruction especially numeracy and literacy and then be able to take that home with them.”
The new school calendars will be going home with students this week. Five half-day professional learning periods are scheduled.
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