Karen Casey open to Saturday classes to make up for lost storm days

Parents worried their children have missed too many classes because of snow days may not be thrilled by some of the solutions being considered by Nova Scotia's Minister of Education Karen Casey.

Makeup classes during March Break also an option

"The school calendar is set and so we can't change that but there are some options within that 195 days that we can use," said Nova Scotia's Education Minister Karen Casey. (CBC)

Parents worried their children have missed too many classes because of snow days may not be thrilled by some of the solutions being considered by Nova Scotia's Minister of Education Karen Casey.

The minister says she's asked boards to try to make up the time during upcoming sports, fun days or carnivals.

Casey says she's also talked to the Nova Scotia Teachers Union about giving up some professional development days. The union would have to agree in order for that to go ahead because PD days are part of the collective agreement.

"Using professional development days for instructional days has to be in co-operation with the teachers' union, said Casey. "Union President Shelley Morse and I have had that discussion."

But if all else fails, Casey says she does have the power to direct boards to open on days they are scheduled to be closed.

"We can look at three Saturdays or we can look at days in March Break," said the minister. 

Casey says that wouldn't be a blanket edict. It would only apply to boards with unusually high numbers of snow days.

 "We're getting close," she said. "I would not want to go beyond 10 [snow days], I can tell you that."

Casey says she sees that as an option of last resort.

Extending the school year is not an option because that too is part of the teachers' contract.

Casey said, "The school calendar is set and so we can't change that but there are some options within that 195 days that we can use."

The number of school days cancelled due to snow/weather (so far) for 2014-15

School boardStorm days - All schools closedStorm days - 

Additional closures

at some schools

Annapolis Valley

81
Cape Breton- Victoria92.5

Chignecto-Central

61
CSAP72
Halifax *4.52
South Shore6.51

Strait

71-3.5 (depending on the school)
Tri-County **72

*A handful of Halifax Regional School Board schools missed additional days because of a leaky roof: Astral Drive Junior High, St. Catherine’s Elementary School, JLIsley High School, Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Senior Elementary and Five Bridges.

** Hillcrest Academy missed an extra day in the Tri-County area because of a roof leak.

About the Author

Jean Laroche

Reporter

Jean Laroche has been a CBC reporter for 32 years. He's been covering Nova Scotia politics since 1995 and has been at Province House longer than any sitting member.

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