B.C. teachers' strike: Could summer schools be affected?
BCTF has yet to say if teachers will take part in summer school while strike underway
Friday may be the last day of school for most students in B.C., but concerns are being raised about how summer schools could be affected if the looming strike continues.
The provincial Ministry of Education say they want to see summer school go ahead and the partial lockout and wage reduction would not apply to summer school.
But the union hasn't yet said whether teachers will take part in summer schools if the planned full-scale walkout continues.
The BCTF announced Thursday that the current job action will escalate to a full strike on Tuesday unless a deal is reached over the weekend.
- BACKGROUND: Education minister 'committed' to averting walkout
- ANALYSIS: Make or break time with last ditch negotiations
Bob Holmes, the president of the Surrey District Parent Advisory Committee, says plans for summer school could vary district by district.
"I think that one of the confusions that lies... depends district by district. Some districts, and I am not 100 per cent sure how it works in every district, but I believe some districts run regular teachers and others contract some of it out."
Holmes says summer school is important for a wide range of reasons.
"You are going to have students in summer school for a variety of reasons – might be because their child had trouble in a course and wants to take again, or parents new to the district who want to get their kids up to speed, other people are trying to get ahead with their schooling.
"So really their plans for all of next year rely on what happens in summer school."
Essential services outlined
In a press release published on its website Thursday, the B.C. Public School Employers' Association outlined which services have been designated as essential by the B.C. Labour Relations Board, making them compulsory regardless of any full-scale strike:
- Supervision of Grade 10-12 provincial exams.
- Provision of final grades for Grade 12 students no later than June 20.
- Carrying out of all tests scheduled to determine if a student should receive a special needs designation.
- Provision of all information needed to confirm or discontinue the designation for students in the intensive behaviour/serious mental illness category for the 2014-15 school year.
School districts must now consult with teachers on the best way to ensure these requirements are met, whilst minimizing the number of staff needed by combining classes or holding exams in larger groups.
The press release notes that the LRB will rule on the issue of the submission of marks for Grades 10 and 11 students if an application is received.