No extension to 2014/15 school year

http://www.cbc.ca/news/b-c-teachers-strike-no-extension-to-school-year-to-make-up-for-lost-time-1.2771797

B.C. has no plans to extend the school year to make up for three weeks of class time lost during the teachers’ strike,  Education Minister Peter Fassbender has confirmed.

“We have clearly agreed that we will move forward with the existing calendar and the remaining hours to make up any learning shortfalls that might have been there.”

Monday first day of school

The school district waited until after 3:30pm on Friday to officially notify parents of when the first day of school is.

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Pages/newsitem.aspx?ItemID=13

Superintendent’s Update: Friday, September 19, 2014 3:30 p.m.

With the ratification of the Memorandum of Agreement between BCPSEA and BCTF schools will open on Monday, September 22, 2014.
Monday, September 22, 2014

Schools will follow normal opening day routines with a shortened 90 minute day. Busses will run at the usual time in the morning. Bus students will be transported home following the morning session.

Beginning Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Schools will begin full day programming. Regular bus routes and schedules will be in effect.

Kindergarten Gradual Entry

School District 57 will continue with the gradual entry process for kindergarten students entering school this year. The gradual entry of phasing in with a small group and shortened attendance times allows children to feel comfortable as they adjust to their new environment, routines, teacher and peers. This gentle introduction to school helps build the foundation for a successful start to their school life.

On September 22, kindergarten students will attend for the first 45 minutes of the day. On this first day, schools will provide parents with a schedule outlining the gradual entry for their child.
      Gradual Entry Schedule Outline (Specific times will be provided by the school)
Week 1
Monday, Sept. 22 45 minute session
Tuesday, Sept. 23 1.5 hour session
Wednesday, Sept. 24 1.5 hour session
Thursday, Sept. 25 2 hour session
Friday, Sept. 25 3 hour session
Week 2
Monday, Sept. 29 4 hour session
Tuesday, Sept. 30 4.5 hour session
Wednesday, Oct. 1 First Full Day
      **Hixon, Giscome and McBride Centennial will have an alternate kindergarten schedule to accommodate rural bussing.

School Calendar, Secondary Semesters, Secondary School Provincial Exams

Due to the late start to the school year, it is likely the Ministry of Education will allow district staff to balance secondary semesters and schedule provincial exams at a later date. Senior staff are working with the Ministry of Education and the Prince George District Teachers Association today and we expect to announce a revised semester 1 end, Ministry of Education exam schedule and semester 2 start early next week. Secondary school principals will provide this information to you. It is likely that the January 23rd Non Instruction Day will be shifted to coincide with the adjustment in semesters. All remaining Non Instructional Days and scheduled school year holidays are confirmed as determined earlier this year by the Board of Education.

Focus on Learning

Our most important work remains student learning in a safe, caring and orderly environment. Our professional and support staff are united in this belief and we will continue to provide learning experiences that enrich the lives of each student.

First Day in Prince George School District?

As of 7:30am, the SD57 website did not have any details as to whether or not Monday would be the first day of school. We are expecting information to be released today, so do check the district website: www.sd57.bc.ca

There is at least one elementary school website that says school will be on Monday, September 22nd:

- All Kindergarten students will attend for 45 minutes:  8:40 – 9:25 (MAY VARY FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL)

- Grades 1 – 7 students will attend for 90 minutes:  8:40 – 10:10  (MAY VARY FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL)

KINDERGARTEN GRADUAL ENTRY SCHEDULE has been changed across School District 57. 

 

CBC Daybreak North had published a page showing various information posted by school district in this area: http://www.cbc.ca/daybreaknorth/2014/09/18/find-information-about-the-first-day-of-school-for-prince-george-the-peace-the-northwest-and-more/

 

Teacher Strike Ratified – 86% YES

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-teachers-strike-is-over-86-vote-yes-to-accept-deal-1.2771202

The prolonged B.C. teachers’ strike has ended, and the province’s public school students will be starting their new school year next week.

More than 31,000 B.C. teachers voted Thursday on the tentative agreement reached with the government earlier this week, with 86 per cent of them voting to accept the deal.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said it was a tough round of negotiations and a difficult time for those on strike, but the job action is now over.

“With the ratification of the new collective agreement, the strike and lockout are now over,” he said. “Teachers and students will be back in school on Monday.”

For some school districts — Vancouver, North Vancouver, Surrey, and Delta included — Monday will be a day of student orientation, and classes will start Tuesday. Parents are advised to check with their local school boards for details about the new school calendars.

Iker said the deal wasn’t perfect, but said it did provide gains for teachers, protects their charter rights and increases support for students.

“There will be more classroom and specialist teachers in schools to help our students. Our teachers teaching on call will get fair pay for a day’s work, and all our members will get a salary increase,” he said.

Tentative deal reached!

A tentative deal in the teacher strike was reached as of 3:50 a.m. this morning!

Details will be coming out as time goes by, but a vote by teachers to ratify is required first. There is online chatter that this is tentatively expected for Thursday, with schools then tentatively opening Monday – but wait for details to come out before making definite plans.

Teachers are still on strike until the vote is taken and the deal signed, so expect picketing to continue until then.

BC School Sports Update

For Immediate Release September 8, 2014
BC School Sports

Burnaby –The Board of Directors of BC School Sports (BCSS) recognizes and respects the position of teachers during the current labour dispute with government. BCSS views extra-curricular activities including coaching as voluntary and will respect the decisions that teacher coaches, volunteers, schools and school districts will make on their involvement with school sports.

We represent member schools and advocate for student-athletes and their participation. As long as there are schools and school districts with volunteers willing to support student-athletes and facilitate the leagues, zones and provincials, our athletic programs will continue.

At this point we are going to proceed with the planned fall zone and championships schedule for the students, coaches and volunteers involved in Football, Volleyball, Boys Soccer, Field Hockey, Aquatics and Cross Country. BCSS will continue to monitor this situation and consult with the sports commissions and school districts as we move forward.

As the BC public schools remain in a strike position it is mandatory that all teams have permission from their school and school district to participate in competition. Also please ensure that all participation of school teams follow district policy. All BCSS rules and regulations still apply including the need for school teams to only compete against approved school teams.

BCSS is a voluntary non-profit society and charity with a membership of 425 schools and has served the athletes
and volunteer coaches in our province for over 44 years. BCSS’ mission is to provide governance for interschool competition, encourage student participation in extra-curricular athletics and assist schools in the development and delivery of those programs. BCSS is independent from government and BC School Boards. The BCSS Board of Directors relies upon the dedication, commitment and efforts of over 20,000 volunteers to run inter-school athletic programs for the 19 sport commissions that conclude with the 162 zone playoffs and 53 provincial championships.

For more information contact:
Christine Bradstock
Executive Director
604-477-1487

Deb Whitten
President
250 475 4155

School Counselor Update

social emotional learning tips and resources

Each month of the school year, parents will receive helpful tips, strategies, activities and resources to support children at home. Family and school can work together to improve children’s social emotional learning skills. These skills lead to school and life success. The we@sel flyer is an easy read on smartphones and tablets. When parents are engaged and teachers supported, kids are better able to learn. It feels like fall out there!
Please check out the flyers below:

BC School Trustees Advocacy Update

As we enter the second week of the school year with classrooms still closed, BCSTA is extremely concerned about the impact the continuing strike is having on students, staff, parents and BC’s public education system overall.

We appeal to both sides to move beyond their current positions to make meaningful and real concessions with the assistance of mediator Vince Ready. If the parties will not make the necessary moves to achieve a negotiated settlement BCSTA strongly encourages a cooling off period that would include a public third party report and non-binding recommendations.

The most recent development has been a call by the BCTF for binding arbitration. BCPSEA Chief Negotiator Peter Cameron has recommended that government not agree to the proposal due to the preconditions set by the BCTF. The arbitration proposal has resulted in a significant amount of media and comment. While we respect that individual Boards will decide their own local position on binding arbitration BCSTA continues to advocate the following positions:

  • An agreement that is freely negotiated that can be supported by both parties going forward. While legislation or a binding settlement imposed by a third party would get students back into classrooms neither of these approaches adequately address the long-term issues facing the education system.
  • Boards of Education have repeatedly expressed the need for flexibility on class size and composition. Rigid numbers set in a contract make it very difficult to accommodate individual learning needs at the school level.
  • The Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) provides a flexible way to provide additional learning supports in classrooms where needed. BCSTA has called on the government to increase the LIF funding beyond the $75 million already in the 2014-2015 budget. The LIF must be increased to address class size and composition issues.
  • BCSTA believes that while teachers deserve an increase in compensation it needs to be comparable to those accepted by other BC public sector unions and realistic given the provincial government’s existing economic mandate.
  • BCSTA urgently and continuously calls for increased funding for BC’s public education system.
  • When a settlement is reached it must be fully funded by government.

While we may not all agree on the specific aspects of each party’s current position, trustees, teachers, administrators and parents agree that we need students back in the classroom now.

Victoria Confederation of PACs developing pilot project

Exploratory discussions have begun with the Ministry of Education to examine the proposal in more  detail and to develop terms of reference for a possible pilot project.
“It is time to look at resourcing classrooms in a way that builds on the strengths and addresses the challenges of each and every student”, said Bird.

Media Release re Talks Begin on Classroom Resources Fund 09Sep14