School’s back

Back to school will look a little different today for Central Okanagan Superintendent of Schools Hugh Gloster.

  • Sep. 6, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Back to school will look a little different today for Central Okanagan Superintendent of Schools Hugh Gloster.

As the doors open on the first day of classes, Gloster will be on site stick-handling morning supervision and personally seeing to it that at least one school of children make it into their teachers’ care safely.

“We will have people at every elementary school and I’ll be out there too,” said Gloster late last week as he tried to explain how the school district has decided to handle outside class supervision under teachers strike conditions.

In order to cover supervision before and after school every employee at the school district’s administrative office and the ones working on maintenance sites will be called into action as teachers refuse outside classroom duties in the first phase of job action.

The Central Okanagan School District was one of the first to announce last week it would cancel the afternoon recess in order to meet the demand. Lunch-hour supervision, Gloster explained, is handled by CUPE support staff, and will therefore go on as per usual, but the district determined it would be impossible to get administrative employees—ranging from secretaries to the directors of various programs—out to every elementary school mid-day to spell off the usual teacher supervision time without causing severe problems at the district administration level.

As such, recess has been cancelled and schools will be closing 15 minutes earlier at the elementary level.

The change is one of the more obvious impacts of the strike, though there are others.

Teachers will stop everything from collecting money for field trips to filing report cards and attending meetings until the union and the government have signed a contract, meaning some of the usual extras might not get done; although the union has been very clear they are trying to avoid impacting the students.

“Teachers will be preparing and teaching lessons mindful of the individual needs of their students and they will be assessing and evaluating progress and keeping marks,” BCTF president Susan Lambert wrote in an opinion column published last week in the Vancouver Sun.

“They’ll be helping students who need assistance, and of course they’ll be available in case of emergencies,” Lambert said.

Contract negotiations are complicated in B.C., where the B.C. Teachers’ Federation is the union representing teachers provincially, while there are still individual member organizations at each school district handling local negotiations.

The BCTF’s local organization, the Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association, negotiates smaller, non-financial matters with the Central Okanagan School District, while the BCTF handles money and matters relating to money at a bargaining table with the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

This division of negotiations is among the items up for debate, however; with teachers asking for more local control.

A letter to parents will be going home today outlining exactly what is happening, and a copy is already available on the Central Okanagan School District’s web site.

The letter states this first phase of job action will not include picket lines, but will see staff withdrawing from staff meetings, professional development, delivering Foundation Skills Assessment tests, organizing school photos and supervising detentions among a long list of other duties.



Just Posted

Deaf, senior dog gets home after five days lost in the forest

Willow, a Kelowna dog that went missing five days ago, is home.

5 Kelowna photographers you need to follow on Instagram

Check out this week’s list of great local photographers.

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Evacuation orders and alerts issued for North Thompson

Some properties in Electoral Area ‘E’ and ‘J’ are asked to leave immediately

City of Kelowna water advisory expanded

Residents of Swick Road water system added to the advisory

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Two new fires now burning in the Shuswap

Fire crews gain control of Perry River blaze between Sicamous and Revelstoke

Man charged in 2015 Sicamous robbery to be sentenced in August

Accused, who was shot by police, pleads guilty to three of nine counts.

Unusually nasty odour repulses Chase residents

Village staff trying to get bacteria working in lagoons at sewage treatment plant

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Most Read