Grad will go on, track meet won't for Boundary schools

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
April 25th, 2012

Graduation ceremonies in both Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) and Boundary Central Secondary School (BCSS) will go on as planned, despite the teachers’s withdrawal of extracurricular activities, said School District 51 superintendent Michael Strukoff.

After the B.C. Teachers’s Federation announced that as of Monday, April 23 teachers would not be volunteering their time for extracurricular actvities as part of their nine point resistance strategy for Bill 22, Strukoff and school principals met to discuss their strategies.

“Grad will happen as planned for both GFSS and BCSS,” said Strukoff on Tuesday, April 24.

Parents and principals have stepped up and those teachers who were managing the scholarships will continue to do so during school hours.

“We are pleased with our staff,” said Strukoff. “They are caught in the middle of what the union wants.”

The outlook for school teams is not so rosy.

The annual district elementary track meet will be cancelled. Although the event happens during school hours, the event planning does not.

The GFSS school rugby team is coached by the principal, so is unaffected by the withdrawal of extracurricular services.

“But there will be fewer teams or no teams to play against,” said Strukoff. “And tournaments may be cancelled.”

Most school field trips will be cancelled if they have an overnight component or do not operate within the usual school hours.

One exception is the West Boundary Elementary Grade 6/7 school trip to Vancouver in June 2012. The principal has stepped in and will supervise the trip, which the students have been fundraising for all year. Strukoff is unsure if the GFSS band trip is still a go or not.

Strukoff said he feels the dispute over the teachers’s contract with the government won’t be concluded anytime soon. He anticipates that next school year may be just as challenging as this one for all involved, at least until the provincial spring election in May 2013.

Expect report cards by early next week

Retroactivated report cards are expected to be sent out to parents between Thursday, April 26 and Monday, April 30. The cards will be followed by parent/teacher interviews and conferences on Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2. School will be dismissed early for those meetings. Each school will notify parents of their school’s own particular schedule, said Strukoff.

The report cards will be “light” versions with letter grades for the secondary students and achievement levels for the elementary students.

Teachers have been without a contract since June 2011. This week they should be returning to the table with a mediator to continue negotiations with the government. If an agreement has not been reached by June 30, the mediator will make a non-binding recommendation to government.

For more information about report cards please visit the school district website at www.sd51.bc.ca .

Categories: EducationIssues