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first_img The committee will have representatives from the Department of Education, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Association of Nova Scotia Education Administrators, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations, the Council on African Canadian Education, the Youth Advisory Council, and the Council on Mi’kmaq Education. The committee will be chaired by Howard Windsor, the former appointed Halifax Regional School Board and a former deputy minister. “Chronic student absenteeism is a huge concern for teachers,” said NSTU president Alexis Allen. “We are pleased to work with our education partners to strengthen policies and practices in addressing this issue.” Ms. Streatch said while there is room for improvement, people should not forget that Nova Scotia’s schools are still safe places to learn and work. “Our provincial school code of conduct, school board policies and the programs we have in place provincially to promote respect and good behaviour are making a positive difference in schools,” she said. “But I also recognize that there is frustration from many parents, teachers and students who believe we can do more to improve the learning environment. “It is important that we continually examine the effectiveness of our strategies, and make improvements where we can.” The committee will proceed with an internal review and present its report to the education minister before the new school year. There will be an opportunity for public input during the process. Ms. Streatch said she is determined action will be taken in time for September. Chronic absenteeism and other issues affecting the learning environment in Nova Scotia schools will be the subject of a provincial review, Education Minister Judy Streatch announced today, May 19. The Minister’s Working Committee on Absenteeism and Classroom Climate will make recommendations to improve student attendance, increase engagement of students in their education and establish new and effective strategies to support a productive learning environment. “This review will result in improved class climate for all students,” said Ms. Streatch. “Our schools must, at all times, belong to the students who want to learn in a productive and respectful environment.” The committee’s terms of reference will include: Examining the challenges facing today’s classrooms and the effectiveness of policies and practices dealing with absenteeism and the active engagement of students in their learning; Identifying best practices and using them to foster good behaviour in schools and classrooms; Recommending how to best support an effective climate for teaching and learning; Examining the roles of school boards, school advisory councils and parents; Reviewing legislation, policies and guidelines related to student and parental responsibilities.last_img read more

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TransForce doesn’t see improvement in Alberta oil rigging business MONTREAL – TransForce’s Alberta oilsands activities may be thriving, but the transportation company doesn’t foresee any improvement this year for North American oil drilling.The trucking company, which among other things moves drilling equipment, posted weaker results in the first quarter as energy sector revenues dropped 24 per cent and margins plummeted.Chief executive Alain Bedard told analysts Friday that he foresees an eventual improvement in the U.S. energy sector as the country seeks energy independence.But he said the outlook is dark in Canada because of the challenges of moving oil to market.“All the service that we do for the oilsands is growing and is doing great,” he said during a conference call.“The disaster in our company is the rig moving business. The rig moving business in Canada it’s a mess.”Energy services revenue decreased by $20 million in the U.S. and by $8 million in Alberta, while the adjusted profit margin was 3.6 per cent, compared with 12.4 per cent a year ago.The Montreal-based company has sold and mothballed drill moving equipment to reduce its capacity by more than 10 per cent.TransForce (TSX:TFI) shares were down nearly two per cent, or 38 cents to $19.62 in trading Friday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange after having reported weaker results after markets closed on Thursday.The transportation and logistics company’s profits dropped 37 per cent to $18.9 million in the period ended March 31. It earned 20 cents per diluted share, compared with 31 cents in the prior year.Adjusting for one-time items, including abnormally high asset sale gains, it earned 18 cents per share, below the 26 cents per share forecast by analysts.Revenue decreased 4.9 per cent to $749.7 million, below the $786 million forecast by analysts, due to energy weakness and a 10 per cent drop in less-than-truckload sales.TransForce revenues were helped by a $24.9-million contribution from the acquisition of delivery company Velocity Express on Feb. 1.The quarter included three days less of business than last year, which accounted for some of the decrease.Bedard said he expects the overall economy to remain weak in 2013.He added that demand for some of its trucking services have been hurt because the corruption scandal in Quebec has slowed the awarding of contracts.Meanwhile, he said the company hopes to reach agreement with its bankers in the coming weeks to alter the covenants of its loans to provide more flexibility.And it will continue to look at selling $100 million worth of real estate as it sheds surplus transportation terminals acquired through various acquisitions.Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets downgraded TransForce and reduced his target price by $3 to $24 due to the weak results.“Although we expect the company to continue to improve profitability by focusing on efficiency initiatives and cost optimization, challenging economic conditions, soft results in the energy segment and the overall lack of visibility justify taking a slightly more conservative stance for the time being,” he wrote in a report.TransForce offers courier and trucking services, including specialized services to the energy sector and waste management to customers across Canada and the United States. by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 19, 2013 12:40 pm MDT read more