NL Federation of School Councils

Policy Documents

 1. Affiliations/Supports/Endorsements

1.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the Canadian Federation of Students’ campaign: to progressively reduce tuition fees; increase provincial and federal funding for post-secondary education; create a system of up-front, needs-based grants for students. (2007)

2. Safety Issues

2.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the mandatory use of safety restraints on school buses. (1999)

2.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the adoption provincially of programmes for schools to teach all members of the school community about the reality of bullying and to assist students in the development of self help skills. (2001)

2.3 School Bus Safety Standards (2014)

Whereas student safety is of paramount importance to parents, teachers, and school communities;

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for the implementation of the CSA D250-07 School Bus Safety Standards that provide for a maximum age of school buses in operation.

2.4 Student Transportation Emergency Preparedness (2014)

Whereas student safety is of paramount importance to parents, teachers, and school communities; 

Whereas school bus drivers should be properly trained to respond in emergency situations;

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the Department of Education on working to include first aid, epinephrine administration training, and other training that will ensure the safety of children in the new contract template with independent school bus operators.

Be it further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the Department of Education on following through on providing first aid training so that school bus drivers have safety, first aid, and EpiPen training before they drive a school bus with children on board for board owned buses.

2.5 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports school bus monitors on buses that transport students. (2008)

2.6 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports standardized training for bus drivers at the beginning of each school year. (2008)

2.7 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports government funded installation of video surveillance cameras in schools with identified problems of vandalism or bullying. (2008)

2.8 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the exploration and investigation of fire refuge policies/regulations for schools and facilitate meetings with other stakeholders for this purpose regarding emergency evacuation procedures for disabled students.

3. Special Needs Issues

3.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of adequate services for students with special needs and is willing to work with the appropriate organizations in order to improve education for special needs students in this province. (1999)

3.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of additional teacher allocations for all students who need remedial assistance but do not qualify for Special Education. (1999)

3.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the introduction of teacher allocations specifically for remedial reading. (2000)

3.4 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of resources to schools to address the issue of disruptive students. (2004)

3.5 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of an essential student assistant agreement to be implemented in time of withdrawal of services. (2004)

4. Professional Development Issues

4.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to provide adequate professional development for teachers on curriculum delivery and classroom management, ensuring that instructional time is maximized by providing sufficient substitute days. NLFSC urges the Department of Education to offer optional evening, weekend and summer training and to negotiate with teachers to add a block of professional development time before the start of school each year. (1999)

4.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to allocate the number of substitute teacher days for professional development separately and independently from the number of substitute teacher days for non-discretionary leave. (2001)

5. School Council Issues

5.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the development of a provincial funding policy for School Councils by the Department of Education, including a basic operational grant for all School Councils. (1999)

5.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of additional Government funding to reflect operating expenses of each school council in Newfoundland and Labrador. (2000)

5.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the protection of school council members by the Government-funded provision of school council travel accident insurance. (2000)

5.4 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils support the development of a policy by the Department of Education to allocate through the school boards, sufficient funds, earmarked to operate school councils. (2002)

5.5 School Council Operations (2014)

Whereas School Councils feel more supports are required to assist them to fulfill their role and to support their respective school development plans; 

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of workshops for parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and students involved in School Councils and home and school associations.

5.6 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a provincial comprehensive review of the effectiveness of school councils with a view towards further empowerment of school councils as a legislated entity immediately and on a 5 year recurring basis. (2004)

5.7 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a request to government to provide operational grants to each school council in addition to the school instructional budget. (2004)

5.8 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a request to government to provide an operational grant of at least $2,000 annually to each school council to cover operational expenses such as mailouts, surveys, postage, fees, etc. and costs associated with attendance at meetings relevant to the business of the school council. (2006)

5.9 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils endorses the reimbursement of travelling expenses to school council members attending meetings outside their home community which involves travel of more than 25 km. (2007)

5.10 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a request for government to designate a yearly budget to each school council at a base amount not to exceed $500. (2007)

5.11 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a request that government provide .25 cents per pupil per year to each School Council for their operating expenses for each school year; no School Council will receive less than $200 per school year; the funding so provided be allocated to the Newfoundland Federation of School Councils as a separate line item in their grant from the Provincial Government; the Newfoundland Federation of School Councils distribute the funds to the respective School Councils. (2008)

5.12 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the re-establishment of area associations of school councils within each district and will facilitate the initial meeting of these area associations for the purpose of assisting school councils with the development of policy and ideas necessary to support students and staff in their respective schools. (2009)

6. Technology Issues

6.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of adequate technology technicians to schools. This allocation should be in the range of one technician for every school or combination of schools with 100 networked computers. (1999)

6.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of technology education to Department Heads, as is currently the allocation policy and practice of the Department of Education for other curriculum specific Department Heads in our school system. (1999)

6.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the provision of funding for technical support at a rate of 1 technician for every 65 computers in the schools of our province. (2000)

6.4 Funding for Technology Maintenance in Schools (2014)

Whereas all schools are expected to provide and utilize the latest in technology including smart boards/team boards, Wi-Fi, iPads, and associated devices and subscriptions; 

Whereas we want our children to be able to avail of the latest learning technologies and devices, both to assist in learning and to be able to utilize the technology productively;

Whereas all technologies, services, and subscriptions require financial resources to maintain, repair, and replace as needed and there is currently no financial resources provided in the budgets to the school boards for these resources, and therefore no financial resources allocated to individual schools;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils request that the Minister of Education make a provision in the budgeting process for our schools to have the necessary additional budget allocation to properly maintain the current technology devices, services, and subscriptions to ensure our children are able to take advantage of these learning devices now and in the future.

7. Extracurricular Issues

7.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils requests the various organizations involved in school tournaments, festivals and fairs to coordinate a schedule so that there will be no conflicts. (2000)

7.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports financial support for extra bussing for students who travel long distances to attend school. (2008)

8. School Building Maintenance Issues

8.1 School Infrastructure Spending & Consultation (2014)

Whereas students require well-designed and well-maintained schools in order to learn in a safe and healthy school climate; 

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for its commitment to school maintenance and infrastructure spending.

Be it further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils recommend that the Department of Education and School Districts work closely with School Councils in the concept, design, and development of all new school construction and renovation projects to ensure adequate feedback is sought from the school community.

8.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils recommends regular air quality testing in all the province’s schools, that the recommendations be followed up, and that air quality reports be forwarded to the respective school councils. (2001)

8.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils insists that all school furniture conforms to ergonomic standards that are in practice throughout government institutions. (2005)

8.4 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports discontinuing the use of non-essential pesticides on school property. (2006)

8.5 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils encourages government and schools boards to support an anti-idling policy for school buses in front of school buildings. (2006)

9. Funding Issues

9.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to increase the per pupil grant to school districts to provide adequate funding for all approved school programmes. (2001)

9.2 School Fees & Materials (2014)

Whereas School Councils are pleased with the amount of necessary curriculum and material resources available to schools; 

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for the elimination of school fees for students in grades K-12 and for providing textbooks for students in grades K-12.

9.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils requests that the Minister of Education disassociate School Councils from any responsibility connected with local level funding. (2001)

9.4 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges government to ensure that funding for the creation of effective outdoor space is included in budgets for new or renovating schools. (2005)

10. Substitute Teacher Issues

10.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to not recover the costs of over-runs in substitute teacher days for non-discretionary leave from school boards. (2001)

11. Food and Nutrition Issues

11.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils encourages School Councils to work in a co-operative manner with their respective School Boards to move forward the development of Food and Nutrition policies for schools to improve access to nutritious food for students in schools throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. (2002)

11.2 Healthy Living Programming (2014)

Whereas a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows more people in Canada, and particularly Newfoundland and Labrador, are becoming obese;

Whereas this same study reports that approximately 71 per cent of people in Newfoundland and Labrador will be considered obese or overweight by 2019; 

Whereas our children and families must learn how to lead healthy lives and school communities have a strong role to play in fostering healthy living practices and combatting the global obesity epidemic;

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils renew its commitment to healthy living by working with School Districts, the Department of Education, and community organizations to support healthy living in schools;

Be it further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils work with partner organizations to provide resources and supports for School Councils and parents to assist families in living healthy lifestyles;

Be it further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils commend the School Boards and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for its work on Healthy Living and reiterate the importance of resolutions 13.1, and 13.2.

11.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils stresses the importance that schools whose student populations travel long distances to attend be encouraged to provide access to a lunch program for its students. (2008)

12. Teacher Allocation Issues

12.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to not reduce any teacher allocations for the next three years. (2002)

12.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils makes teacher allocations its number one priority issue in all dealings with government.(2005)

12.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils recognizes the importance of teachers taking lunch breaks and that persons with proper training oversee the student lunch break time. (2006)

12.4 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the need for the allocation of human supports for small schools to be used for supervision of CDLI students. (2008)

12.5 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports deploying the allocation of Learning Resource Teachers strictly towards library services such that all students in the province benefit from the professional assistance of qualified learning resource specialists, (2008)

12.6 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports adequate training for Learning Resource Teachers such that all students in the province benefit from the professional assistance of qualified learning resource specialists. (2008)

12.7 Guidance Counselor Allocation (2014)

Whereas modern schools are confronted with diverse and intense demands by students of a personal nature, which include career planning; comprehensive student assessments; scholarship and postsecondary application procedures and information; drug and alcohol awareness; personal counselling; anti-bullying programs; and mediation; 

Whereas the Guidance Counsellor is often the professional educator charged with these responsibilities;

Whereas the current Guidance Counsellor allocation of one per 500 students does not meet the needs of students and is particularly challenging in rural schools;

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urges the Department of Education to implement a change in the allocation formula for Guidance Counsellors to one per 333 students for Kindergarten to Level III as per Recommendation #20 from the final report of the 2007 Teacher Allocation Commission.

13. Physical Activity Issues

13.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils recognizes that lack of exercise during the school day poses a serious health risk to our children. (2004)

13.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils endorses and promotes regular physical activity for all children during recess and lunch breaks. (2004)

13.3 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils believes that children should be given the opportunity for outdoor exercise except in the most inclement weather conditions, that outdoor play should be encouraged and supported, and that failing to provide this opportunity (in the face of the current crisis) to our children is a travesty. (2004)

14. Curriculum Issues

14.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils believes that the mathematics outcomes in K-5 level should be age appropriate and ensure that the child has the time to learn basic skills. (2006)

14.2 Safe & Caring Schools Teaching and Learning Resources (2014)

Whereas most, if not all, schools face issues of social justice, bullying, and acceptance; 

Whereas there are currently some awareness raising programs in existence around these issues; however, more programs are needed for the varying age groups and learning levels for our children to deal with the increasing number of children feeling unsafe in the school environment.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Department of Education and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District work together to develop more teaching and learning resources to assist in educating children about social justice, anti-bullying, and respecting each other and the importance of acceptance of each and everyone.

15. Health Issues

15.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports the hiring of a LPN for each district office. (2007)

15.2 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports more sexual health education being provided to our youth. (2007)

16. Property Issues

16.1 The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils supports a lobby of Government and School Board’s to develop a process to effectively resolve land use disputes as they arise between former religious Denominational Schools and the applicable Denominational Authority. (2007)

17. Drug Awareness & Anti-Bullying Programs (2014)

Whereas new information from efforts to advocate for RCMP drug awareness and anti-bullying programs has arisen; 

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils campaign government and the RCMP to have financial resources to the RCMP reinstated.

19. Educational Resources

19.1 Administrative Allocation (2014)

Whereas the amalgamation of four English School Districts into one has downloaded an increased administrative burden on Principals and Assistant Principals;

Whereas Budget 2013 reduced administrative allocations for schools;

Whereas Principals and Assistant Principals play a vital role in teaching and learning and are the instructional leaders in the school;

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils reiterate to lobby Government to ensure cuts to administrative allocations be reconsidered and reinstated. 

19.2 Educational Allocation (2014)

Whereas Budget 2013 reduced the number of teaching units available to support schools and student achievement; 

Be it therefore resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils reiterate to lobby Government to Increase the amount of teaching units provided for the Needs Based Resource Allocations – such as Regular Teachers, IRT’s, Student Assistants, etc. – as requested by the district, for individual schools needs.

Be it therefore further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils reiterate to lobby Government to reinstate teaching units that were cut in Budget 2013.

19.3 Educational Psychologist Allocation

Whereas modern schools are confronted with diverse and intense demands by students of a personal nature, which include comprehensive student assessments; drug and alcohol awareness; personal counselling; anti-bullying programs; and mediation; 

Whereas the guidance counselor is often the professional educator charged with these responsibilities;

Whereas comprehensive student assessments take upwards of 20 hours each to complete and is a significant burden on schools; 

Whereas the current guidance counselor allocation of one per 500 students does not meet the needs of students and is particularly challenging in rural schools; 

Therefore, be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urge the Department of Education to increase the supportive resources such as educational psychologists, counselors, and other support staff necessary to augment the intervention and assistance necessary to address the needs of students from Kindergarten to Level III.

20. School Board Governance

20.1 School Board Governance Model (2014)

Whereas research on school board effectiveness shows that Trustees are a crucial piece in supporting student achievement if they are able to adequately hear and respond to the concerns of parents and the school community;

Whereas the current system of 15 appointed trustees for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District does not appropriately meet this objective;

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils recommends that school district governance should be derived from already elected School Councils in place of the existing appointed Board of Trustees;

Be it further resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils urge the Department of Education that a change in legislation occur to this effect before any further school closure consultations or major policy decisions occur where the spirit of Schools Act, 1997, indicates accountability for parents and school communities in education.

21. School District Policy

21.1 Assessment & Evaluation Policy (2014)

Be it resolved that the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils petition the Minister of Education to gather qualitative and quantitative evidence to determine whether the implementation of the Assessment and Evaluation Policy is having a measurable positive effect on student aptitude (e.g., work habits, citizenship, and preparation for post- secondary study) and student achievement.