March 2020: A Note From Tony

Hello Prairie South Friends,

It’s been a full week and it’s only Tuesday!  I’ve been working hard to keep these messages brief – apologies in advance if this one is a bit longer!

Yesterday the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation informed us that teachers would be imposing sanctions related to extra-curricular and volunteer programming beginning this Thursday and continuing indefinitely.  Our teachers will be participating in these sanctions.

Last fall, during our negotiations with CUPE, I met with all principals and out-of-scope staff and requested that those people do everything they could to provide personal and professional support for CUPE staff who were impacted by negotiations.  I emphasized the need for everyone on the Prairie South team to feel included and supported, and I talked about the importance of relationships after the conclusion of negotiations and the positive impact that those good relationships have on kids and families.

Today I’m making the same request connected to our teaching staff.  The bargaining impasse is a provincial matter, and Prairie South teachers have responsibilities as part of the STF to participate in sanctions.  Some of our teachers may feel strongly that the sanctions are necessary; others may be concerned that they aren’t.  In every case though, our teachers will be worried about the potential impact on kids, families, schools and relationships if a resolution is not found, and the rest of us can help relieve these worries by supporting teachers personally and professionally during the sanction period.

Prairie South has a plan in place to provide this support, and CUPE and other staff may have adjustments made to their days as needed to ensure student safety and safeguard the learning environment in our schools.  Until you hear otherwise though, it’s business as usual – non STF staff will continue with their regular work as scheduled.  I have sent a letter to parents today outlining the cancellation of extra-curricular activities throughout the school division beginning Thursday and extending for the foreseeable future.  I know we have lots of non-teacher staff coaching and supporting drama and other activities – I’m sorry that you are also impacted by the cancellation of these events.

If you have questions about any issue connected to the STF sanctions, please ask your principal or supervisor – we’ll get you the answers you need!

In other news, I have attached an initial calendar for the 2020-2021 school year that was approved by the Board of Education last week.  We are a couple of weeks away from having the other calendars approved, but I know that many of you will be interested in holiday times for next year, so the attached calendar will help with that.  Thank you to the 400 staff and SCC folks who responded to the calendar survey – your feedback led to a change in the calendar that went as part of the survey.  Speaking of surveys, I’m working slowly away at the Staff Satisfaction Survey from January.  Although it has been on the back burner for a couple of weeks, I have enjoyed conversations with principals, the Partnerships and Teambuilding Committee of the Board of Education and a focus group of Educational Assistants about the results.  I’m looking forward to being able to get back to that work, as I know that relationships are the foundation of everything we do!

I hope the spring weather has put a bounce in your step – see you soon,

Tony

Approved Calendar
2020-2021 Moose Jaw, Assiniboia, Caronport Calendar

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