Transparency with Staffing – part 1

The purpose of this series of posts is to provide you with more detail about the staffing process for the upcoming 2014-15 school year at Erin Public School.

Over the next few weeks, I will attempt a more detailed explanation of our school staffing process. This is the process used to create a school’s classroom organization, to staff teaching positions, to allocate numbers of students into classrooms and then to review and re-organize this organization if necessary. Please note that any errors in explanation are totally my own and will be clarified upon discovery.

The school-level staffing process for the 2014-15 school year began in mid-February, when projected numbers for September 2014’s enrolment were submitted to the Board. After discussion with the District Staffing Committee and the E.P.S. Staffing Committee, the tentative enrolment numbers lead to a tentative organization for September. In other words, these February enrolment numbers provide the basis used to staff schools and determine both the Grade organisation and the number of teachers in a school in September. These enrolment numbers comprise our school’s current enrolment, the enrolment coming from our feeder schools (Ross R. McKay & Brisbane), our early JK registration and historical data on enrolment trends.

School organization is then reviewed again on the 2nd day of school in September. Changes in classroom distribution are common since enrolment projections and actual enrolment don’t generally match. School Boards are also bound by restrictions such as the cap on primary class sizes and the Board-wide requirements for class size averages.

Our total teaching staff allocation for 2014-15 is 20.8; 15.0 classroom teaching positions structured as follows: JK/SK; Grade 1; Grade 2: Grade 3: Grade 4: Grade 5/6; Grade 6; Grade 7 (x3); Grade 7 French Immersion; Grade 7/8: Grade 8 (x2); Grade 8 French Immersion.   We have two 0.5 teacher allocations for a junior-level (Grade 4-6) specialized classroom for students with a learning disability. We also have an additional allocation of 4.8 teachers in various support and specialized roles such as Special Education & Resource, Library, Planning Time and Core French. When compared to our current school year, this is a total reduction of 0.6 teaching position. This is because of our projected decline in enrolment.

In addition, our principal allocation for 2014-15 is 1.0; our vice-principal allocation is 0.3 and our Designated Early Childhood Educator allocation is 1.0.

Confused about the decimals? Each full-time position is represented by a 1.0 allocation. Therefore, a 15.0 classroom teacher allocation means we have the equivalent of 15 full-time positions allocated to classrooms. If you count our classrooms, you’ll notice there are fifteen; one for each classroom teacher position. In Special Education & Resource, we have been allocated 1.4 teachers, which means we have the equivalent of one full-time teacher and another who would be allocated this responsibility for 0.4 of a full-time teacher’s position.

Please note that no specific staff member has been permanently allocated to these positions. The tentative places allocated to staff at this time can and likely will change several times over this lengthy process.

Hopefully, this helps clarify where we are in this lengthy process. Our next step in the is the teacher surplus, vacancy and transfer process. This will be the subject of my posting during the week of May 12th.

Do you have questions? Email me at the email address linked to this blog – and I will answer you directly or may post the answer on a future blog post.

FFTF enters the blogsphere

For several years now, I’ve been forwarding an item on a weekly basis to school and Board colleagues entitled the ‘Food For Thought Friday’ (known from here on in as the FFTF). This artefact is often an article, a video or a blog that is intended to cause the reader to think about their own educational practice or to start a conversation.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of blogging and, in my ‘other life’, have managed a non-educational blog for years. Yet, the idea of putting myself ‘out there’ in education has always been intimidating to me. What finally pushed me over the edge was a subtle word of ‘encouragement’ from a senior administrator with my own school board in a very brief F2F conversation last week about Canadian administrators one should follow on Twitter. I also look at some of the classes in my own school with students blogging about their learning and feel a little embarrassed that the students are fine to put their learning ‘out there’ but that the principal has cold feet. That doesn’t wrk any longer.

The FFTF will now be part of a weekly blog post. If that’s all I do for the time being, so be it. If all it means is starting a larger conversation for a few people, I’m happy with that. If, at a future point, the blog becomes a place for added transparency in my practice, that’ll work too.

This also opens the weekly FFTF up to ‘the world’. Feel free to comment and discuss at your leisure.


December 6th, 2013 FFTF: I was discussing the uses of Twitter as a tool to learn and connect professionally. This is part of the same conversation referred to above that finally pushed me to get the FFTF onto a blog (almost one full year after my initial commitment to do so). The Superintendent and I agreed that one of the first things needed for a successful venture into the Twitterverse was to have appropriate people along for the journey. I was funny how as a school and a system leader, we both had George Couros at the top of our list of people to follow. George’s post entitled “Our Thinking has to Change” challenges some outdated perspectives on our role as teachers, particularly as it applies to current and emerging technologies that we use with our students. It also highlights the importance of our relationships with students and how that must adapt to encompass the tools of our ever-changing world.

Happy FFTF, everybody.

My Etmooc Journey

I’m 2 weeks late on my commitment to have a blog up and running before the end of 2012. It took registration in my first Mooc to push me towards publication. This is the #etmooc page of my blog. It’s purpose is to post, reflect on, disseminate and question my learning throughout this journey.

I am a K-8 school principal in Ontario, Canada. I love my job. I just thought I’d put that out there. More than a few people are surprised when I tell them what I do for a living and even more shocked when I describe how much enjoyment I get out of it. I’ve been working in schools since 1990 and have been an ‘official’ teacher since 1993. I’ve dabbled in Core French, taught Extended French for 5 years, Grade 7 & 8 for another five, a taste of a classroom for students who struggle adapting to a regular class environment and another brief taste of Grade 5. My ‘recipe’ for educational work includes equal parts Catholic (1st 10 years) and Public (most recent 10). I consider myself to be proficient with technology and have pretty strong opinions about where technology should be in our schools.

Out of Etmooc? Easy… I’m looking to connect. I’m looking to learn. I’m looking to share. I’m looking to challenge my own assumptions. I’m looking to respectful challenge others as well. Mostly, I’m looking to extend the love I have for the work I do into new spaces and places. And I’m glad I’m not looking alone.

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The first post

I’m 2 weeks late on my commitment to have a blog up and running before the end of 2012. It took registration in my first Mooc to push me towards publication. The #etmooc page is where I’ll post for the duration of thhis online experience. Then, my Principal Learning journey will continue in this section of my blog.