No matter what the weather holds, Tuesday, September 16th has dawned as a beautiful day. Mediator Vince Ready has announced that the BCTF and BCPSEA have reached a tentative deal, meaning that school can restart soon. We are all sorry that there has been a delay, but we can also appreciate the hard work of both parties as they struggled through the processes enabled by the labour code. The greatest struggle, of course, has been for students, families and our teaching staff, and we can't wait to have you all back in the same place doing what you love to do . . . learning and teaching. Thanks as well to our support staff and community partners for your patience and support.
Our attention now turns to next steps and timing. While this is as yet tentative, our expectation is that ratification of the new collective agreement will take place between now and Thursday, and all going well we will be able to have staff back in on Friday to get ready for students to return on Monday. Note that this is speculative, so it will be important to stay tuned to the district website, school websites, and the media for updates.
When we do have students back (hopefully Monday), our start-up will be as per our usual first day procedures. That means that students would be in attendance for part of the first day; whether that is morning or afternoon is yet to be determined and announced. Elementary and middle school students would be in full attendance from day two onward, with middle school students in their classes and elementary school students likely waiting until the third day to be in their new classes. Secondary students would have the usual two-day staggered start with full classes starting on day three, but again, this is tentative so stay tuned for details. Kindergarten students will have a gradual start as always, with details available from schools regarding timing.
Overall, this is great news. Thank you for understanding that the re-start schedule is tentative. We will share details as we come to know them.
Dr. Keven Elder
Superintendent of Schools