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What the strike means for Kamloops students

Image Credit: Jenn Stahn
June 17, 2014 - 12:32 PM

KAMLOOPS - We know there is no school while teachers engage in a full strike but what does that mean for report cards, year end dances and items the could not be cleared out of desks and lockers in time?

Grade 10-12 students will complete exams as scheduled beginning tomorrow but only Grade 12 students can expect to see marks anytime soon.

“We can’t issue report cards for anyone for Kindergarten through Grade 12,” Kamloops-Thompson School District Superintendent Terry Sullivan says. “We don’t have a lot of (marks) in and it has to be a class mark combined with exam mark. (Grade 12) are the only marks the LRB says has to be submitted at this point.”

Exams begin tomorrow and will be supervised by district staff and school administrators with teachers having to fill in spots as necessary. Class marks for Grade 12 have to be submitted by June 20 and exams will be graded and submitted shortly afterwards. Full transcripts will be mailed out to Grade 12 students.

All other students will have to wait to see if they advance grades, which could cause some havoc with figuring out classes for next year, and class placement has yet to be worked out for the younger grades as well.

“This is going to have an impact on next year regardless,” Sullivan says, “There are a number of meetings that take place in the last few weeks of school that haven’t taken place yet. It has a trickle down effect.”

He says some elementary principals tried to host a quick assembly for Grade 7 students graduating to secondary school but with the short notice of school ending Thursday many were unable to.

“We didn’t get word Thursday would be our last day until 10:30 Wednesday night. We had basically no notification,” Sullivan says. “If there is some type of settlement some principals will try to put something together, but it won’t be the same.”

He says he’s heard from a lot of parents that have basically packed it up for the school year and will not return even if there is a settlement.

“A lot of parents, who can, are basically saying ‘this is it, we’re done,’” he says. “How many elementary students would actually return? It would be challenging, text books have been collected, classrooms stripped, supplies sent home…. Should there be a settlement it will be challenging to return.”

For the remainder of the school year principals and vice principals will be in schools and parents and students can go into schools to retrieve things left behind following the abrupt end to school last week. Sullivan notes picket lines will have to be crossed though. Students in outlying schools without a principal, such as Sun Peaks or Heffley, will likely have to make alternative arrangements to pick up items.

Sullivan notes he has no idea when a settlement might be reached and with constant changes day to day it is important for people to monitor the district website and local media. Automated phone messages will also be sent out to all parents with significant updates.

Teachers began job action in April with the withdrawal of communication with administration and supervisory duties outside of educational hours. In May they began rotating strike action and today full strike action began after the teacher’s union and the province failed to reach an agreement during the collective bargaining process.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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