03/18/2015 01:42 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT

New Brunswick education minister seeks plan to deal with storm days

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's education minister says he wants a contingency plan in place for the 2015-2016 school year to make up for class time that's lost as a result of storm days.

Serge Rousselle said a committee will look at the options available, including possibly rescheduling professional development days after March to allow for more class time during the winter.

"I'm ready to do everything I can to maximize learning time," Rousselle said Wednesday.

He said any possible changes would first have to be discussed with the unions that represent teachers.

Peter Fullerton, president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association, said moving professional development days to the end of school year may not be a good idea because what the teachers learn on those days can be used throughout the school year.

Fullerton said a professional development day near the end of the school year on a particular subject would not be of much use to a teacher who changes the subject they teach the next year.

He said teachers can usually modify the curriculum to ensure that students spend the amount of time they need to in class, even if there are fewer teaching days because of storms.

Students across the province have lost an average of 12 days so far this school year as a result of snowstorms and bad road conditions.

Gary Crossman, the Opposition education critic, said the number of storm days this year has been a concern.

The former teacher said teachers should be looking to cancel any field trips and use that time in the classroom.