Vancouver School Board debates school closures during Olympics
Last Updated: Monday, February 2, 2009 | 6:22 PM PT
The Vancouver School Board was set to debate Monday night whether school should be cancelled for two weeks during the 2010 Olympics.
Many parents and school board officials have voiced their reservations about any proposal to cancel or reschedule classes.
"Custodial care and safety of kids is really a big issue and I think it would be a tremendous hardship on parents to have our schools closed," said Vancouver school trustee Mike Lombardi.
Elementary school teachers agree that schools should remain open, but the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association said there is good reason to cancel classes.
"There will be a number of schools that will be very difficult to get to," said Anne Guthrie Warman.School trustee Mike Lombardi believes child care would be a big issue for parents if school were cancelled during the 2010 Games. (CBC)
"Additionally, we have about 30 to 35 per cent of our staff who live outside Vancouver and we understand that’s going to be a difficult thing."
The Ministry of Education has said it prefers to have children stay in school during the Games, but added out local school boards are free to decide for themselves.
The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympics said it had some discussions with the Squamish School District about the possibility of closing four high schools in Squamish and Whistler during the Games so they could be used for volunteer dormitory-style accommodation and support services.
Some schools in West Vancouver, Whistler and Squamish decided to move their spring break from March to February, during the Games.
Other schools in Delta, Richmond and Surrey will remain open, while school boards in Burnaby, Coquitlam and North Vancouver will make decisions later this month. New Westminster will make its decision through an online survey that will be launched soon.
The University of B.C. and Capilano University will have extended reading breaks, while Douglas College and Langara College will be closed.
School districts have until May 31 to decide.
Corrections and Clarifications
- VANOC did not say classes should be cancelled during the Games, as was previously reported in this story. Feb. 3, 2008|3:00 p.m. PT
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