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La Saskatchewan Launches Project to Manage Behavioral Problems in Its Schools creating specialized support classes will be launched in February in Saskatchewan.(Archive photo)</p>
<li class=Noémie Rondeau (View profile)Noémie Rondeau

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The Government of Saskatchewan announces , Monday, the establishment of a pilot project to create specialized support classes to help teachers manage behavioral incidents in schools.

Eight school divisions, located in urban areas, will benefit from this project, which is scheduled to begin in February. It will continue until the end of the 2024-2025 school year.

It is the divisions themselves that will have to choose the schools participating in the project, indicates the province in a press release. Once in place, each participating class will rely on specialized support to help students practice self-regulation techniques.

A class will be made up of at least one teacher and two teaching assistants and will accommodate up to 15 students. Participating classes will also be able to use other forms of support if necessary, such as the use of counselors or psychologists.

The Minister of Education, Jeremy Cockrill, says the goal is to help students continue their studies without interruption.

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We've heard that Saskatchewan teachers need to spend more time teaching rather than managing disruptive behavior, says Jeremy Cockrill.

To finance this project in the eight selected school divisions, the provincial government is investing $3.6 million.

In reaction to this announcement, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) explains that this is an interesting starting solution to respond to increasingly complex situations in classes.

This is a clear admission from the government that the complexity of classes is increasing and that it must be managed.

A quote from Samantha Becotte, president of the STF

However, she fears that this solution will only concern a tiny part of students and teachers.

Unfortunately, this pilot project seems to be intended for only 8 elementary schools in urban areas, which would account for approximately 1% of students in the province, deplores Samantha Becotte.

This provincial announcement comes while teachers and the government are still negotiating a new agreement.

This announcement is once again a way for the government to circumvent the negotiation process rather than sitting at the table in good faith to address the concerns of teachers, maintains the president of the STF.

After five days of conciliation in December, the negotiations reached an impasse according to the STF. From these discussions, the conciliation committee prepared a final report including recommendations.

Among these, the committee ruled on the issue of class complexity.

The committee agrees with what teachers have been saying for 10 years that they have the right to negotiate their working conditions, said Samantha Becotte.

However, the committee was unable to make recommendations on the working conditions of substitute teachers or on salaries due to the excessive gap between the proposals of the two parties.

The Federation is calling for an increase in salaries as well as more resources for schools. For its part, the provincial government is proposing a salary increase of 7% over a period of three years.

The president of the STF asks the government to negotiate in good faith, otherwise teachers will have to take the necessary measures to make themselves heard.

She recalls that the members of the Federation voted 95% in favor of possible pressure tactics last October. These sanction measures against the government could range from the withdrawal of voluntary services and professionals to a strike.

We have a plan. We very much hope that the government will come to the table. We do not want to resort to these sanctions. But if it becomes necessary, we will do it, said Samantha Becotte.

Every student deserves a quality education. The STF ensures that this is the case, concludes the president of the Federation.

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