Nova Scotia teachers work-to-rule: What does it mean for you?

Click to play video: 'Duties of ‘paid and employed’ teachers outlined in memo from government' Duties of ‘paid and employed’ teachers outlined in memo from government
WATCH ABOVE: Ahead of Monday’s job action, the Nova Scotia government sent teachers and principals a refresher on their duties under the education act. Global's Marieke Walsh explains the memo and what will happen while teachers work-to-rule – Dec 2, 2016

As parents and guardians, teachers and administrators prepare for work-to-rule job action to begin Tuesday, questions are still swirling about what this will actually mean for students and for parents.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia schools to reopen Tuesday, work-to-rule still in place

Schools were closed Monday after the government said original work-to-rule directives from Nova Scotia Teachers Union compromised student safety. Monday afternoon, Education Minister Karen Casey announced the schools would reopen after learining the union had changed their directives regarding principals’ duties.

Here are answers to some of parents’ biggest questions heading into next week:

Will classes go ahead as usual?

Yes. Regular classroom instruction won’t be interrupted.

Will there be supervision for students before and after school?

Yes. Principals will be able to arrive on school property earlier than 20 minutes before class time starts, and stay longer than 20 minutes after the last bell rings.

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They are also permitted to supervise during lunch and recess breaks.

Teachers, however, will are only required to show up at school 20 minutes before classes start, and to stay for 20 minutes after the school day ends.

How will breakfast programs be affected?

Breakfast and lunch program operation at schools across the province depend on each school, therefore there’s no definite yes or no.

READ MORE: With work-to-rule days away, NS students worried about breakfast program

With teachers and principals not arriving at schools until 20 minutes before the start of the school day, some breakfast and lunch programs may be affected. Any changes will be communicated to parents.

What about my child’s fundraiser?

Unless facilitated by a parent or volunteer, no fundraisers will be going ahead.

Here is a list of expectations for teachers during a work-to-rule campaign:

  • Teachers will arrive at school 20 minutes before start time and leave 20 minutes after the end of the school day
  • Teachers won’t communicate about school matters, including with parents, outside the teaching day
  • No collection of money for, or organization of fundraisers with students
  • Information, including assessments and attendance, won’t be entered into PowerSchool or TIENT
  • No external assessments or diagnostic instruments will be completed by teachers, unless they’re required by law
  • No department or board assessments will be administered
  • Teachers won’t participate or support extra-curricular activities
  • Teachers won’t update websites or e-newsletters
  • No attendance of staff meetings, program planning or student success meetings
  • Teachers won’t take part in department or school board professional development
  • Teachers won’t give extra help to students before or after lass or at lunch time
  • Student teachers won’t be accepted
  • School administrators won’t participate in advisory council or parent group meetings, unless it’s due to an appeal of student discipline
  • School administrators won’t do classroom walk-throughs to supervise teachers
  • Teachers and school administrators won’t attend board and department staff


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