Any active member may request to be released from their convention attendance obligations to attend an alternate professional development activity that is scheduled during their assigned convention, provided the alternate activity:
is an organized professional development event that is permitted under the Association’s Protocol for Convention Attendance;
cannot be accessed at another time when it doesn’t conflict with convention attendance; and
presents the member with a learning opportunity that exceeds what is available in their convention program and will enhance their professional practice.
If a member’s request is approved they must attend their assigned convention for two consecutive years before they may apply to attend an alternate professional development event during convention again. They are responsible for all costs associated with attending their alternate activity. No convention registration fees will be refunded.
Application, Approval & Appeal
Release from convention attendance to attend alternate professional development activities is administered by each convention board’s attendance committee. While some application procedures vary from convention to convention, requests must be made in writing (using the format or form specified on each convention’s website) and must be received at least six weeks before an applicant’s assigned convention. The convention’s attendance committee will review and either confirm or deny all applications. The committee’s decision can be appealed to an ad hoc appeals committee of the convention board and then to the Association’s Convention Factotum, the executive staff officer responsible for teachers’ conventions. The Factotum's decision is final.
For your convenience, a directory of convention websites and contacts can be accessed here.
Alberta Schools Athletic Association Finals
The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) have a formal agreement regarding the release of teacher-coaches from their convention attendance obligations. If a school team makes it to the ASAA finals in their sport and the competition is scheduled during teacher's convention season, the ATA will provide an opportunity for any teacher-coaches of these teams to be absent from a portion of their assigned convention. For its part, the ASAA will attempt to schedule final competitions so as to impact as few teachers as possible.
Members may request release from part of their assigned convention to coach at ASAA finals a member provided they meet all of the following conditions:
The member must be the coach or assistant coach of a school team that has advanced to the ASAA finals for their sport.
Requests will only be considered if the member’s team will be competing at ASAA finals that are scheduled on the day or night of the member’s assigned convention dates. Typically these competitions are limited to rural wrestling finals, provincial wrestling finals, provincial curling finals, and provincial cheerleading finals.
Requests will not be considered for members who are parents of athletes on qualifying teams, for members who want to support their school team at the finals, or for members who want to coach at a zone/regional finals or other tournaments. These members must meet their convention attendance obligations.
Permission for a member to be absent from their assigned convention to coach can only be granted by the Alberta Teachers' Association; school and district administrators do not have the authority to grant release from convention attendance for coaching.
If a member’s request is approved:
They will be released from a portion of their convention for an amount of time deemed satisfactory for them to safely travel to the ASAA finals and to coach their team.
They are expected to be at the remainder of their assigned convention in accordance with their professional and legal obligations to attend.
Release is granted for the current year only. Requests for release to coach at ASAA finals must be made each year.
No convention registration fees will be refunded to members for the portion of convention they do not attend.
If the Association’s Convention Factotum, the executive staff officer responsible for teachers' conventions, determines that a member has missed too much of their assigned convention to coach in a given year or over a period of years, the member may be required to attend an alternate convention that does not conflict with their coaching responsibilities.
Application, Approval & Appeal
Members must complete and submit an online application no later than two weeks prior to their assigned convention. Applications will be reviewed and either approved or denied by the Convention Factotum. The Convention Factotum’s decision can be appealed to the Association's Coordinator of Professional Development, whose decision is final.
The online application form can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ConventionAttendance2018.
Attend an Alternate ConventionTop of page
Teachers of Distance & Online Learning Programs
Any active member may request to attend a convention other than the one to which they are assigned (based on their employer and ATA local) if they work in distance learning or online learning programs and live outside of the geographic boundary of their assigned convention.
Permission will be granted for the member to attend an alternate convention for this year only. A request to attend an alternate convention must be made each year.
The member is responsible for arranging substitute release time for the days of their alternate convention through their employer, in accordance with their collective agreement and district policy.
The transfer of the member’s convention registration fees will be administered by convention treasurers under the direction of the Association's Convention Factotum, the executive staff officer responsible for teachers' conventions. No convention registration fees will be refunded to the member.
Application, Approval & Appeal
Members must complete and submit an online application prior to December 15. Late requests may be considered in some cases. Applications will be reviewed and either approved or denied by the Convention Factotum. The Convention Factotum’s decision can be appealed to the Association's Coordinator of Professional Development, whose decision is final.
Teachers on Secondment
Active members who are seconded from their school authority retain all rights and responsibilities associated with their level of Association membership including the legal and professional obligation to attend convention.
Members on secondment may request to attend a convention other than the one to which they are assigned (based on their employer and ATA local) if:
Their duties while on secondment make it difficult for them to attend their assigned convention; or
They are required to live outside of the geographic boundary of their assigned convention during their secondment.
The member is responsible for arranging release time for the days of their alternate convention through the organization to which they are seconded, in accordance with the terms of their secondment agreement and organization policy.
Teachers with Other Attendance Conflicts
From time-to-time, active members may find themselves in convention attendance conflicts which are beyond their ability to resolve. Typically these conflicts are the result of school, district, and government staff scheduling activities (including those that are prohibited by the Association's Protocol for Convention Attendance) without considering the Association’s convention calendar and members’ attendance obligations.
Members who find themselves in a convention attendance conflict may request to attend a convention other than the one to which they are assigned (based on their employer and ATA local) if:
They have attempted to resolve their convention attendance conflict by all the means at their disposal;
Their convention attendance conflict cannot or should not be resolved using the leave clauses specified in their collective agreement; and
The conflict will only impact their attendance at this year's convention.
Permission will be granted for the member to attend an alternate convention for this year only. Future requests from the member to attend an alternate convention due to a scheduling conflict will not be considered in most cases.
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