Classroom teachers who want to improve the teaching and learning environment in Nova Scotia can start to apply online today, Feb 22, to be part of the new Council to Improve Classroom Conditions. The council is an initiative of the Teachers’ Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvement Act that passed yesterday. It offers classroom teachers the opportunity to direct how the province will invest $20 million into classrooms during the next two school years. The council will take real action to reduce demands on teachers’ time that limit their ability to support student learning. “We are inviting classroom teachers to work with government and the union to share their experiences and perspectives and talk about how best to invest in education,” said Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “It is an excellent opportunity for classroom teachers who want to affect change in the best interest of student learning.” Initial recommendations from the council are expected by April 28. Priorities for the council will include: data collection and reporting assessment and evaluation timing of administrative days relative to report card preparation student attendance policy technology and work processes, including PowerSchool and TIENET scope of practice for teachers planning for student success complex classrooms class sizes at all grade levels student discipline policy The council will be formed by March 7. Nine classroom teachers, three each from elementary, junior and senior high school, will be joined by a representative of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union who will serve as co-chairs. Government will appoint three additional members including a student and a parent. The co-chairs will name a neutral facilitator to work with the committee. There is also a provision for an arbitrator to be appointed in the event the co-chairs cannot agree on a recommendation. Classroom teachers forming the council will be chosen by school board superintendents, working with human resources, program directors and other board staff, with consideration given to cultural and regional representation. Classroom teachers can apply online at https://edapps.ednet.ns.ca/Surveys/ClassroomImprovements The deadline for applications is Feb. 28th.
BEIJING — Asian markets followed Wall Street higher Tuesday as investors watched for Brexit developments and corporate earnings.Benchmarks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul gained, while Tokyo and Sydney were little-changed. Southeast Asian markets also gained.On Wall Street, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index eked out a 0.1% gain to extend its winning to streak to eight days, its longest in 18 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended lower due to another big loss for Boeing Co.Investors looked ahead to developments in Britain’s contentious move toward leaving the European Union, a mid-week meeting by the European Central Bank and the release of minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to meet European leaders ahead of a Friday deadline for Britain to leave the European Union.British legislators have yet to agree to terms for the divorce from the trade bloc. Economists worry about the drag on the economy if the departure happens without that.“Moderate gains” are likely in Asian markets despite a lack of strong leads, helped by “benign updates from the event risks into the end of the week,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3,249.20 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3% to 30,169.32. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.4% to 2,219.63 and India’s Sensex advanced 0.2% to 38,761.45.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was off 19 points at 21,780.23 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 8 points to 6,212.80.Southeast Asian markets and Taiwan advanced while New Zealand declined.On Wall Street, the S&P rose to 2,895.77. It climbed to within 1.2% of its record in September. The Dow slipped 0.3% to 26,341.02, and the Nasdaq gained 0.2% to 7,953.88.Boeing slumped 4.4% after saying Friday that it will cut production of its 737 Max plane. Regulators around the world grounded that model after it was involved in two fatal crashes.EARNINGS SEASON: The latest quarterly earnings season is due to start with JPMorgan Chase and other big banks. Analysts are forecasting the first drop in S&P 500 profits in years. They expect corporate profit growth to resume after the weak first quarter.CHINA-US TRADE: China’s official news agency said talks in Washington last week “achieved new progress” but did not say when further discussions will happen. Beijing and Washington are trying to end a tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions that has shaken financial markets and darkened the world economic outlook.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $64.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $1.32 on Monday to $64.40. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 13 cents to $64.53 per barrel in London. It rose 76 cents the previous session to $71.10.CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 111.35 yen from Monday’s 111.47 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1267 from $1.1264.Joe McDonald, The Associated Press