Halifax school board to change bus schedules while teachers work-to-rule

Concern for student safety during Nova Scotia teachers’ work-to-rule campaign is prompting the Halifax school board to change some bus schedules.

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New arrival and departure times, mandated by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, would have created a supervision gap between when students arrive at school and when teachers and principals do. Teachers will start working-to-rule on Monday.

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To avoid the safety concerns, the Halifax Regional School Board says all busses will arrive after teachers do to make sure students aren’t alone.

As part of the job action, teachers and principals will be arriving at school 20 minutes before classes and leaving 20 minutes after. According to the board, that would have meant that students from 15 bus routes would be at school before teachers arrived or after they left.

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“We have been working with Stock Transportation this week to ensure all busses arrive/depart within the 20 (minute) window starting on Monday,” board spokesperson Doug Hadley said in an emailed statement.

“Our priority is student safety,” he said. “Students will be supervised at all times.”

He said the board was in the process of notifying families who will have to deal with new school bus pickup and drop-off times. Hadley said the changes will affect a relatively small number of people – just 15 out of more than 250 routes are affected.

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The board is also considering hiring lunch monitors for schools where teachers usually take part in supervision.

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