Yarmouth County Teacher Says School Attendance Support Workers Won't Be Like Truancy Officers

Posted on Friday, November 10, 2017 11:44 AM

A pilot project will see people designated to work with students, families, and schools to understand why kids are missing time.

The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions is investing $1.9 million to implement 14 Attendance Support Worker Pilot Projects across the province.

Cheryl Bourque-Wells is a member of the Council and a teacher at Drumlin Heights Consolidated School in Yarmouth County.

She says the workers will also connect families and students with the supports and services they need, bridging the gap between outside agencies and the schools.

"So not only are they going to be bringing the students back into the school, they're going to be investigating as to why is the student absent, what are the reasons, is there something we can do do to offer students support that we may not be aware of. It's aimed at promoting that regular attendance"

Bourque-Wells says the support workers aren't going to be like the truancy officers of the past, where students were dragged back to class.

"It's deeper than that. We want this to be a long term, good relationship with schools."

She says the pilot project will begin as soon as staff are hired, and will run until June 2019.

Teachers can apply along with others in specialty fields within the school system that are certified as teachers under the NSTU.