Q & A – Classroom Assistant
What is the role of the classroom assistant ?
The role of the classroom assistant is to accompany the students, to help the teacher with non-pedagogical tasks, and to ensure the well-being and safety of the students in their academic lives.
This classroom assistance must be in addition to the support and professional services already provided by the school and should not replace them or be used to compensate for a lack of services for special needs students. Assistance should be provided to the whole class or a group of students in that class, not to individual students or the entire school.
The classroom assistant is a distinct part of the school team whose role must be recognized and respected.
What are the tasks of the classroom assistant ?
How many establishments are participating in the classroom assistant pilot project ?
There are 100 establishments for 2022-2024, as well as 100 establishments that are added in 2023-2024. Here is the list of establishments.
How many establishments will there be in 2023-2024 ?
There will be 100 additional establishments for a total of 200. Here is the list
How long will the pilot project last ?
It is two years, for pilot projects that started in 2022-2023. It is one year for those who will start in 2023-2024.
How are working hours assigned to a person acting as a classroom assistant ?
Each school was allocated funding for two full-time equivalents based on the salary of a daycare educator, which amounts to $105,148 per establishment per year (70 hours per week), to pay for the hours assigned to the classroom assistants.
School teams may decide to allocate these funds to more than one employee already holding a position in the school, respecting the agreed maximum number of hours for a full-time equivalent. A school could, for example, decide to dedicate one full-time employee to different classes or dedicate four part-time employees to four different classes, etc.
This funding from the Ministry is exclusively reserved for classroom assistants and tasks related to this new function.
What is the class of employment of the person acting as a classroom assistant ?
The classroom assistant pilot project does not entail the creation of a new class of employment. Since this is a pilot project, we are seeing different arrangements in each school board or school center. Do not hesitate to discuss this with your local union to know where these discussions are heading. For example, in the 40 establishments where FPSS-CSQ members are participating in the project, we find daycare educators, special education technicians, attendants for handicapped students, student supervisors and daycare technicians working these hours.
Must job boundaries with other classes of employment be respected ?
A project like this has its share of challenges that must be overcome to make sure it represents a positive contribution to students and school staff. Above all, the project must adequately meet needs in terms of support and assistance, which implies an understanding of these needs. The teachers and support staff involved in the project, already working in schools on a daily basis, are well placed to identify these needs. Whether in reference to staff working in special education or in regular classes, the complementarity of roles and respect for job boundaries between different classes of employment are essential, especially to ensure that students are getting the appropriate services from the appropriate employees, which is to say the employee with the training to do so.
Does the union monitor the pilot project?
The three federations of the school network (FPSS-CSQ, FSE-CSQ, FPPE-CSQ), as well as the CSQ are closely monitoring the pilot project and doing regular follow-ups with their local unions. We are in the process of writing a report that we will present to the government soon, in order to name the good practices and the elements that could be improved so that the project achieves the objectives.
Is a research team monitoring the pilot project ?
A research team has been mandated to monitor this experiment to identify the challenges and the conditions for success in the implementation of the projects, to examine the functions of the classroom assistant and to evaluate the impact of the projects. The Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES) has been given this mandate.
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