LETTER: SD 20 Superintendent says Tuesday won't see back-to-school in area
August 29, 2014
Dear parents and guardians:
Unfortunately, as of writing this letter, no settlement has been achieved between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). This reality has put the start of the school year in serious jeopardy.
The normal hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school year, where teachers are in schools and classrooms this week preparing for the school year, has not happened this year due to the ongoing labour dispute.
While there is hope the parties will negotiate throughout the long weekend and reach a settlement, we now have to prepare for the reality that school will likely not start on Tuesday, September 2nd as originally scheduled. Further to the letter sent earlier this week by the Vice‐Chair of the Board of Education, all SD20 schools will be closed for instruction starting Tuesday, September 2, 2014 until further notice.
While school doors will be physically open starting Tuesday, September 2, 2014 there will be no instruction for students.
Support staff will likely not cross the picket lines of our teachers, which will leave only non‐union staff present in all our schools and sites. As a result of the inability to ensure the safety and security of our students, I ask that parents keep all children home from school starting Tuesday, September 2, 2014 until further notice. School busses will not be running starting on Tuesday, September 2nd until further notice.
Should a settlement be reached over the long‐weekend, an additional complicating factor to consider around school startup is that our teachers have not been in their classrooms since mid‐June. They may need some time to get the space prepared for your children. If a settlement is reached then I will email you with information about when the school year will begin as it may not be immediately on Tuesday, September 2nd.
I am sure that you are disappointed that the school year cannot start as scheduled. I know that you share our desire to return to normal operations as quickly as possible and that this dispute will be concluded quickly. In the meantime, we will do our best to keep you informed in a timely manner.
For further information and updates please check the district website ‐ www.sd20.bc.ca. Also, please share this letter with any parents for whom the district may not have their email address.
Superintendent of Schools