Useful Information for School Administrators – September 3, 2020

20200903 School Principals Message

// Hours of Instruction

The “hours of instruction” are best defined as “the time from when a student would be considered to be late at the commencement of classes in the morning up until the time when classes are dismissed at the end of the day, excluding the lunch period”. All time between the opening and closing of classes, including homeroom, breaks and preparation periods, is counted for the purpose of determining the hours of instruction.


// Duties

Article 22 (A) 01 of the Collective Agreement states :

“Non-teaching duties shall be kept to a minimum and evenly distributed among the staff.”

Elements to be considered :

When are teachers expected to be at school in the morning?

Article 25(1)f of Regulations 97-150 of the Education Act requires teachers to be present at school 20 minutes prior to the beginning of instruction time.

Can teachers be required to be at school earlier than 20 minutes before the commencement of instruction time?

Teachers may be required to be in school prior to the 20 minutes before the commencement of instruction time if they are assigned to do non-teaching duties as per Article 22 of the Collective Agreement. All non-teaching duties assigned to teachers, regardless of when, are to be considered when calculating the total amount.

School administrators are responsible to determine the level of supervision required to maintain the health and safety of their building. However, one of the key elements of Article 22 (A) 01 of the Collective Agreement is that supervision must be kept to a minimum. Requiring all teachers to arrive earlier than 20 minutes prior to the commencement of instruction time to supervise does not meet this threshold.

Furthermore, it is not reasonable for ALL teachers to be responsible for students arriving prior to the 20 minutes, during breaks and lunch.

Questions regarding non-teaching duties can be discussed with NBTF staff.


// Duty-Free Lunch

Teachers are entitled to request, as per Article 22 (A) 02 of the Collective Agreement, a 60 minute duty-free lunch at any time during the school year. If this request is made during the school year, school administrators will need time in order to make the necessary adjustments to schedules. It is important to note that preparation time can be added before or after a lunch break in order to provide the 60 minute duty-free lunch.

Note : Teachers requesting this provision are still required to perform the same amount of supervision as others on staff.


// Class Size

Grades Group size per classroom as per EECD’s return to school plan
K-2 Reduced grouping size, as close to 15 students, wherever possible 
3-5 Reduced grouping size, as close to 22 students, wherever possible
6-8 Regular class size
9-12 Attendance on a rotational basis (minimum every other day) except where schools can accommodate physical distancing of one metre.

Notes : 

  • These class sizes are not the regular class size under the Collective Agreement. The number of students have been reduced because of COVID19 and are reflected in the EECD return to school plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • In discussions with EECD, they have indicated that “wherever possible” means a possible increase of two above the group size limit.


// Information Technology Support

School administrators are not responsible to provide IT support. Any questions related to this topic should be redirected to district staff.

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