Highlights of the Provincial Executive Council meeting held Oct. 22–23, 2020, at Barnett House in Edmonton
1. Approved that, while recognizing the authority of the minister of education to set the Alberta Programs of Studies, the Association express on behalf of Alberta teachers its lack of confidence in the processes for curriculum development introduced by the minister and calls upon the minister to
a. restore the 2016 memorandum of understanding between the Government of Alberta (minister of Education) and the Alberta Teachers’ Association that established a partnership to advance provincial curriculum development;
b. recognize the central importance of pedagogical considerations grounded in research in teaching and learning in the design of effective curriculum;
c. affirm that curriculum working groups will be convened to consider all changes to previous curriculum drafts and have the latitude in their recommendations to the minister to accept, modify or reject, in part or in whole, recommendations made by members of the Curriculum Advisory Panel affecting the draft curriculum;
d. affirm that curriculum working groups will have the latitude in their recommendations to accept, modify or reject in part or in whole modifications made to the draft curriculum by department officials since the last submission of the curriculum working groups;
e. affirm that all drafts, support materials, general information and recommendations provided to the curriculum working groups be publicly released at the time they are provided to the curriculum working groups;
f. affirm that all recommendations and submissions made of the curriculum working groups to the minister will be publicly released at the time they are submitted.
2. Approved that every effort possible be made, as soon as possible, to obtain clarity from Alberta Education about practicum requirements for interim professional certification during the current pandemic emergency and report back to the Teacher Education and Certification Committee.
3. Authorized the Association to implement a continued advocacy program to educate members and maintain continued pressure on the government to repeal Bill 22.
4. Approved in principle and referred to Finance Committee for review and costing a proposed list of programs on which the Association should focus in 2021/22.
5. Approved the Association’s 2020/21 capital budget.
6. Amended administrative guidelines to reflect new structure and processes necessitated by the formation of the Teacher Employment Services program area.
7. Consistent with section 31(2) of the Teaching Profession Act, extended the deadline for the commencement of six hearings of the Professional Conduct Committee.
8. Received the report of a hearing committee that found a teacher guilty of one charge of unprofessional conduct for failing to treat a student with dignity and respect or be considerate of their circumstances when the teacher encouraged a personal nonsexual relationship with the student by meeting the student and communicating through email with the student, making reference to body types and discussing personal matters. The hearing committee imposed a penalty of a letter of severe reprimand, a declaration that the teacher will be ineligible for membership in the Association for a period of two years and a recommendation to the minister of education that the teacher be ineligible for a teaching certificate for a period of two years.
9. Received the report of a hearing committee that found a teacher guilty of two charges of unprofessional conduct for failing to maintain personal boundaries with students and habitually touching students, in a nonsexual way, during instructional time in academic and physical education settings. The hearing committee imposed a penalty of a single letter of reprimand to address both charges.
10. Received the report of a hearing committee that found a teacher guilty of four charges of unprofessional conduct for making comments critical of the teacher’s principal to an individual that was not the proper authority, for making comments critical of a school division employee to an individual that was not the proper authority, for making comments critical of a colleague to an individual that was not the proper authority and for recording two students in physical education class without their permission or the permission of their parents, thus failing to treat the students with dignity and respect and in consideration of their circumstances.
The hearing committee imposed a penalty of a letter of reprimand addressing all four charges and a fine of $500, to be paid within 60 days of receipt of the written report. Failure to comply will result in the teacher being declared ineligible for membership in the Association until the fine is paid in full.
11. Named one teacher for nomination to Alberta Education for curriculum work as the need arises.
12. Approved a donation of $2,000 to MediaSmarts to help support Media Literacy Week 2020.
13. Approved that specialist councils move to virtual conferences for the 2020/21 school year.
14. Approved that the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Conference, scheduled for 2021 04 22(eve)–23, be held virtually.
15. Named field members to serve on Association and other external committees; renamed the Pension, Benefits and Insurance Committee to the Benefits, Insurance and Pension Committee; and amended the frames of reference of the Indigenous Education Committee and the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee. ❚