Teachers hold their placards up for traffic and pedestrians to see at the end of the Sande overpass at lunch time Aug. 28. Many vehicles honked their support as they passed by on the overpass or Keith Ave.

Schools could open Tuesday – or not

Northwestern B.C. school district says to prepare for any eventuality

  • Aug. 28, 2014 1:00 p.m.

The Coast Mountains School District is telling parents, guardians and students that a decision on whether schools will re-open or not as scheduled next Tuesday may not be made until the day before.

That’s to provide the maximum amount of time for teachers and school districts to reach a settlement, school district superintendent Katherine McIntosh said in a release today, Aug. 28.

“If there is a settlement, we expect that all schools in the Coast Mountains School District will open on September 2. While schools may open on time, we anticipate some disruption in regular instruction, as course scheduling for students and timetables, particularly at the secondary level, may need to be resolved,” she said.

“However, we will do our utmost to provide as much stability as possible and return to normal operations quickly.”

A failure to reach a settlement to the strike and lock out now underway could result in schools being behind picket lines next week, McIntosh continued.

“While schools will remain open, we will not be able to offer our regular instruction as we anticipate that unionized staff will not cross the picket lines. As a result, we will again request that parents and guardians not send their children to school and seek alternate childcare arrangements,” McIntosh said.

“This is a frustrating and disappointing time for everyone involved. We have an outstanding public school system in British Columbia, and we will work diligently to ensure students get through the year successfully once the school year gets underway,” she said.

Hopes for a settlement have been raised today with news that veteran mediator Vince Ready is speaking to both parties.

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