Following the Professional Improvement Committee’s (PIC) meeting on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, the 2013-2014 PIC Kit was finalized and will become effective November 1, 2013 and can be found online here: http://www.esteachers.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Microsoft-Word-2013-2014-PIC-Policy-Kit.doc.pdf
Here are a few notable changes to this year’s PIC policy:
1. The per day of conference expense allowance has been increased from $150 per day to $200 per day in order to help offset the increased cost of travel. This change has been made possible due to an accumulated surplus.
2. Considering the increased cost of air travel, the maximum for travel has been increased in the isolated regions of Fermont and the Magdalen Islands from $900 to $1100. Nevertheless, teachers should be encouraged to shop early when booking flights in order to reduce travel costs so that this practice may continue.
And here are a few reminders:
1. Although plan C remains unchanged (maximum of $700 for credit-course fees or the language proficiency exam), teachers should be reminded that this is a viable professional development option. The PIC endorses the McGill Distinguished Educator’s series and teachers should be made aware that some of these courses are available by video conference.
2. Schools must do their best to reduce the amount of substitution when attending professional development activities. If a large number of staff will be absent (e.g. travel to the annual QPAT Convention on Wednesday, November 20, 2013), then serious consideration should be made to use a floating pedagogical day to reduce the costs associated with substitution and to ensure the legitimacy of instruction in the classroom. Consider this: if 45 teachers throughout ESSB travel on November 20, then 1/3 of the school board’s teaching staff will be absent from their classrooms and the resulting cost could amount to $193.50 x 45 = $8707.50 (and this figure is low since it doesn’t include the cost of fringe benefits). Thank you in advance for doing your best to help ESSB and PIC reduce the cost of substitution.