North East School Division hiring new caretakers for 2021-22

·2 min read

The North East School Division (NESD) is budgeting $440,000 to start hiring 9.5 full-time contract caretaker positions for the 2021-22 school year.

These are the same extra contract positions hired during the 2020-21 school year to handle increased sanitation demands amidst the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required enhanced cleaning and disinfecting at the schools,” said Wanda McLeod, the NESD’s superintendent of business administration wrote to the board.

“Typically, the best time to clean/disinfect a school is when there are no staff and students in the schools. As a result, prior to the pandemic, the smaller schools have had split shifts so that most of the cleaning/disinfecting is completed before and after school.”

As part of provincial guidelines, if a student becomes sick at school the school is required to give a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of any areas the student may have been in contract with.

The pre-pandemic shifts resulted in caretakers not being on shift from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and as a result were insufficient for provincial guidelines. To combat this, in August, NESD administration requested additional caretaking staff for the 2020-21 school year.

For the year, the board approved the use of up to $420,000 to fill the staffing need with 9.5 full-time equivalent positions. While it was originally set to be paid by unrestricted accumulated surplus, the costs were funded through the Safe School Plan/Contingency Funding which gave the division $797,000 for pandemic related spending.

While administration could have waited for the school board’s annual budget in June to request funding for the 2021-22 year, McLeod said administration wanted to start the hiring process in May.

Funding for the 2021-22 year will come from pandemic support funding externally restricted accumulated surplus.

Interested individuals can apply for the positions once the posting is available on the NESD website at

Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal