All schools in Nova Scotia will reopen today, Tuesday.
Education Minister Karen Casey said on Monday, “As of today, we are confident that the Nova Scotia Teachers Union has modified its directives to teachers in such a way that schools can now open safely.”
Casey said the reason for the closure on Monday was “concerns about student safety,” citing NSTU directives in correspondence.
“Now in its interpretation of their memo to administrators, principals will take all reasonable steps to create and maintain an orderly and safe learning environment in our schools. That is what we needed.”
Casey said principals have been given the authority to modify the directive that was given to them relating to the supervision of students who arrive 20 minutes before school begins, who stay at lunch, and after school for 20 minutes after school ends.
“In addition, teachers may now act as teachers-in-charge when no administrator is in the school. That is a change. This issue was expressed by principals and raised to their union as well. Principals are now permitted to use cellphones more than 20 minutes before schools begins, and 20 minutes after school ends, and that is an important communications tool.”
Casey pointed out, “The move to introduce contract legislation and to close schools was based on a clear threat to student safety. Superintendents indicated that they were concerned that if the directives from the union were followed, student safety was at risk. Those circumstances have now changed and they’ve changed for the better.”