Halton District School Board eliminating teacher-librarian role in elementary schools

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April 1, 2022 at 11:14 am

Mississauga school

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) has made the decision to eliminate the position of teacher-librarians in elementary schools which has raised concerns from several trustees.

At a recent regular meeting of the board, it was confirmed that resources will instead be used to hire learning resource teachers (LRT), who in September, will be assigned to schools with high literacy needs.

This is being done in an effort to help students who may have struggled throughout the pandemic due to the learning disruptions that came as a result.

Claire Proteau, superintendent of education, confirmed that there will be no loss of jobs as a result of the redistribution of teacher-librarians who will now be in special education resource teacher (SERT) positions or classroom teacher roles.

During the meeting, several trustees expressed concerns over early literacy, and while Proteau emphasized the difficulty of the decision, she confirmed that the board will be hiring new library technicians to keep libraries at schools open.

As a result, Halton Hills trustee, Jeanne Gray, expressed her “sadness” over the decision and questioned how it would change the way school libraries looked in the future.

Burlington trustee Andréa Grebenc, also told Proteau that she would hate to see teacher-librarians “disappear” in elementary schools and questioned whether they should be advocating for additional funding to avoid having to make these kinds of decisions.

Proteau was on board with the idea of advocating for additional funding, however, she emphasized that the board would continue the teacher-librarian role and supplement the literacy support in schools in the case that there was adequate funding for both.

Following the switch to LRT positions, the board will monitor and evaluate whether they will continue being required.

Going forward, students who may be struggling will be able to seek help from their teachers or the SERT in their schools.

An update is set to be presented to HDSB trustees later this year.

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