Teachers worry about cuts to specialists
Superintendent says district's 75 schools will be staffed consistently
Students will be returning to school in about a week but some teachers are warning there are cuts planned for music and physical education classes in the Fredericton area.
Teachers in the Anglophone West School District say at least half the programs will no longer be delivered by specialists.
Teachers also say less time will be devoted to teaching those subjects compared to last year.
Those specialists are not being rehired as the district has hired more resource teachers, particularly in the Fredericton area.
David McTimoney, the district superintendent, said on Friday that students will continue to receive the required amount of instruction in music and physical education as outlined by the provincial government. He said they will be taught by qualified people.
He would not say how much less time will be spent on those subjects compared to last year.
"We believe that we have staffed appropriately when it comes to the norms that have been shared with us. And we think principals are armed with the staff they need to ensure the programs are delivered in a very effective way," he said.
The superintendent said he and his staff have been busy creating consistent staff plans since the three former school districts were merged into the larger Anglophone West School District in 2012.
McTimoney did not deny that some schools might be getting fewer hours spent in music and physical education classes and fewer hours with specialists. But he said the district will now offer a consistent standard for staffing in these subjects across all 75 schools in the district.
McTimoney said the school district is going above the provincial guidelines when it comes to guidance and resource teachers, by 13 full-time equivalent teachers.
The news of the fewer hours and specialists came from concerned teachers. However, teachers were concerned about talking publicly about the changes.
McTimoney said teachers have a specific route on how they are expected to share their concerns about the education system.
"Teachers have channels to talk about their concerns. We expect that when teachers have concerns that they would share them," he said.
"The appropriate channels that teachers would follow would be to talk with their principals to talk with their district office staff and talk to the New Brunswick Teachers' Federation."