Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is reacting to its elementary school teachers and occasional teachers being in a legal strike position by warning parents schools could close.

Board trustees were called to an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to deal with increasing tensions over contract negotiations with teachers.

Due to the threat of one-day walkouts, the board has been given the power to shutdown schools for safety concerns.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board says it expects the work-to-rule campaign to begin Monday.

Parents and guardians received this message from the board:

“Parents can expect that all regular classroom instruction will continue as usual; teachers will be in the classroom performing their instructional and supervisory duties. However, we have been advised that teachers will not participate in administrative and non-instructional duties such as extra-curricular activities, field trips, meetings, professional development, provincial assessments, and any activities that occur outside of the regular school day.

We have been advised that the elementary teachers union (ETFO) is planning to hold a one-day walk out in every school district across the province.  To ensure student safety in the event of a one-day walk-out, our elementary schools will be closed for the school day. We expect to have 72 hours notice of any walk-out and will communicate information through the media and via telephone voice message. Parents should make childcare arrangements for their child(ren) as students will not be able to attend the school.”

In addition to this,  OCDSB before and after school programs will close. Parents are asked to call their service providers/program coordinators to confirm how their specific program will operate.

"The plan gives the Director of Education the authority to close elementary schools for the day of the walk-out,” said the board’s chair Jennifer McKenzie. “Throughout this process, our first priority has been student safety.  We recognize this plan may be challenging for parents and students, but we believe it is in the best interests of students."

The board says regular updates will be posted directly on its website.