NEWS RELEASE · 19th September 2014
School District 82
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We announced on September 17 how pleased we were that a tentative deal was reached between the government and the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). We waited to learn the final details of the agreement reached and the ratification results to announce the opening of our schools. Those details are now in hand and allow us to fully plan for our opening routines.
Ratification of Tentative Deal … The deal required ratification not only by teachers, but by Boards of Education across the province. Boards have completed their ratification today and teachers voted yesterday.
Opening Day … With a ratified deal, the first day of school will be Monday, September 22. We have well established routines and we will follow our normal opening day routines with a shortened first day. Buses will make their morning runs at the usual time on September 22 with their return runs after students have been in attendance for approximately two hours. Mount Elizabeth Middle/Secondary School students please reference below for September 22 start times. As you will know, these first days allow us to greet students, set preliminary enrolment and then prepare in earnest for the coming school days. Our first full day of school will be Tuesday, September 23 with regular school hours and bus runs in effect, and we will proceed with school as it usually unfolds on any other opening week in September. Bus routes and school start times are provided below.
Gradual Entry for Kindergarten … For our youngest learners, some of whom are still 4 years old, gradual entry includes a phasing in of small groups and shortened attendance times. This gentle introduction to Kindergarten builds a foundation for success in school. The gradual start allows children to adjust to a new school environment and allows time for the family to meet with teachers to develop relationships. We understand that we have been away a long time and perhaps, in the current context, a gradual entry for these very young children is more important than ever. We ask that parents contact their school principal to find out what the gradual entry process will be for their child for next week.
While we hope that the items above address your questions, there is still a lot of work to do to get our schools up and running as normal. We know that there are many questions from parents on topics like report cards, grades, student schedules and more. We will deal with these questions at the school and district level as we return to school and as we gather more information and begin to work with our teachers.
I wish to congratulate both bargaining teams. We recognize that both teams put in huge hours and an enormous effort to reach a deal. We should also acknowledge that our teachers and their support staff colleagues have been walking a picket line since last spring. For all involved it has been a long journey indeed. For families who have been forced to find alternate care, to make arrangements around work schedules and more, we thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing your children back in our schools on Monday.
Superintendent of Schools