With no news of a resolution to the dispute between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and B.C. public school employers and just a week until the scheduled start of school, School District 68 has provided some information for parents.
“Because of the current BCTF strike, there is uncertainty about when schools will be able to open for the 2014-15 school year,” School District 68 (SD68) states on its website. “We all hope that there will be a resolution that will allow schools to open as scheduled (Sept. 3 in SD68).”
All updates will be posted on the school district’s website at www.sd68.bc.ca.
In the Cowichan Valley (School District 79), the first day of school is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2 for all schools in the district. This may change depending on progress in reaching an agreement with the BC Teachers’ Federation, and parents are advised to check www.sd79.bc.ca for updates.
Bargaining between the government and the union continues, and, as of Aug. 21, the parties had completed 71 bargaining sessions, as well as several earlier exploratory discussions with third parties, according to the BC Parent Info website.
Professional mediator Vince Ready has agreed to monitor the situation, and to resume exploratory talks or commence full mediation when he believes it will be productive.
During the BCTF’s summer leadership conference, union president Jim Iker stated on Aug. 24 that teachers are ready to enter into mediation right away, if only the government is ready.
According to the CBC, the BCTF has said a rotating picket schedule will be in effect again at schools across the province this week, with picket lines going up in Vancouver, Langley, and Kamloops Monday, Aug. 25.
In SD68, school offices were scheduled to be open starting Monday (Aug. 25), although it is possible schools will be behind picket lines during the week of Aug. 25-29.
If schools are behind picket lines, there will not be any office staff, but principals and vice-principals will be in the schools.
For new registrations, SD68 asks that parents not visit the school, but instead, call the school, as of Aug. 25.
If parents want to know about new French Immersion kindergarten and Grade 1 registrations, they are asked to call 250-741-5335.
If you plan on moving your child to another school or school district, you are asked to phone your current school, as of Aug. 25.
In SD68, report cards for Grade 10 and Grade 11 will be issued to students when they return to school, while final report cards from 2013-14 for kindergarten to Grade 9 are not available at this time.
Unless parents have been notified otherwise, students have automatically been assigned to the next grade level for the 2014-15 school year.