With the final weeks of school mired in uncertainty due to the ongoing dispute between the province and teachers’ union, schools in the Coast Mountains School District (CMSD) are looking to provide clarity to parents, guardians and students regarding end-of-year activities.
Traditional end-of-year activities like awards ceremonies, graduation, and scholarship nights at Caledonia Secondary School have been rescheduled or altered because of the labour dispute, which has escalated sharply over the past few weeks.
A notice sent home to parents June 9 explains that the secondary school’s awards ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, June 24 is cancelled. Students will receive awards as report card attachments, at the graduation ceremony, or, for students currently in Grade 10 and 11, at an awards ceremony in the fall.
The June 25 scholarship night is also cancelled, with the 90 students who applied for local, district, or external scholarships asked to contact administration June 11 regarding the status of their scholarships and how to proceed.
And the graduation reception and ceremony will still be on June 26, but the time has changed. This year, the ceremony was to be held during the day – a change from previous years, which saw the ceremony held at night – but has been rescheduled for the evening.
Late last month, the province began a phased lock-out of teachers, with teachers prohibited from arriving at school more than 45 minutes early and from staying after class for more than 45 minutes. Lockout provisions stipulated that if a deal is not reached by June 25, a full-scale lockout of secondary school teachers will begin first, and then move to include elementary school teachers if an agreement is not reached by June 27.
And teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a full-scale strike earlier this week, but the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has yet to confirm whether or when they will act on that mandate.
Teachers across the province are on the third week of rotating strikes, phase two of the union’s three-phase job action plan, with CMSD teachers scheduled to be on the picket lines tomorrow, June 12.