Dear Parents and Guardians:
As you are most likely aware, a tentative agreement between the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the provincial government through the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) on behalf of school boards has been reached. The next step will be for members of the BCTF and all school boards in the province to vote to ratify this agreement. We anticipate that this will be completed by the end of the day on Friday.
If all parties ratify the tentative agreement this week, then we expect that our schools will be ready to welcome students to a new school year on Monday, September 22.
School next week will then begin as it would in early September, with a shortened first day on Monday and regular hours of instruction on the next day (Tuesday, September 23). Parents should check school websites and posted notices for school-specific schedules. If parents have additional questions, they should consult with the school administration.
Gradual entry for Kindergarten
We look forward to welcoming our youngest students into our school system and as usual, we will have a gradual entry process that will be communicated to parents at the school level.
September Professional Days
We will reschedule any Vancouver school professional development days originally scheduled for September to a later date in the school year. The rescheduled dates for September will be determined at the school level in consultation with staff and parents. Schools and the district will be providing additional information about this soon.
Our main priority has always been to have our students back in school and schools back to normal operations as soon as possible. To accomplish this, our principals and vice principals have been working hard over the past several weeks to prepare schools to welcome students and staff. That being said, it is important to keep in mind that a great deal of work still needs to be done. We want to return to the traditional routines of schooling with as little disruption as possible, however we might see some need for school re-organization as we get underway, especially at the secondary level.
Parents are encouraged to consult our website (www.vsb.bc.ca) and follow the local media for updates with regard to the return to school and periodically for other school related matters.
We are thankful that the two parties have reached a tentative agreement and once again look forward to an exciting school year. We have an outstanding public education system in British Columbia and I am proud of the hard work and support provided by all staff in this complex school district.
It is very good news that students will soon get back to learning, teachers will return to teaching and parents can once again actively re-engage with their school communities.
Thank you for your patience throughout this prolonged labour dispute.
Dr. Steve Cardwell
Superintendent of Schools
Click here for more job action updates. Click here for a PDF version of the letter.