Dear Parents and Guardians:
Thank you for the patience that you have shown as we have waited for a resolve to the provincial labour dispute. It now appears that we are very close to being able to open our schools. The purpose of this letter is to give you details to help you plan for the immediate future.
As has been reported in the media, the membership of the BC Teachers’ Federation will be reviewing the terms of the tentative agreement and holding a ratification vote on Thursday, September 18th. All sixty Boards of Education have been given until 3 p.m. on Friday, September 19th to go through the same process. If the parties vote in favor of ratifying the terms of the agreement, then we will be opening our schools on Monday, September 22nd.
The first day of the school year will follow the normal opening day procedures with students attending for a half day. (Please note that Kelowna Secondary School will be operating for a full day on the first day of the year, and will be scheduling their half day on Wednesday, September 24th.) This will give schools the opportunity to conduct enrolment counts and to adjust classes and staffing levels. Schools will post their opening day start and end times on their websites by the end of this week. Buses will be operating on Monday, September 22nd to align with the adjusted bell schedules. For information about bus routes, please refer to the School Bus Transportation link on the District’s website (www.sd23.bc.ca).
The Ministry of Education confirmed the following information with Superintendents today (Sept. 17):
1. There are no plans to extend or add instructional days this year. It is their expectation that school districts will be able to deliver their educational programs and meet all learning outcomes in the curriculum within the remaining school calendar timeframe.
2. For secondary courses operating on a semester system, school districts have the option to equalize the length of the semesters and the Ministry of Education will provide a second set of provincial examination dates at the beginning of February to accommodate this option. The remainder of the 2014/2015 provincial exam schedule will stay the same.
The impact of these Ministry decisions for the Central Okanagan School District includes:
1. The District Calendar that was approved at the end of February, 2014 and is posted on our website, remains in effect for the balance of the year. No changes are being made to holiday periods or other days when schools will not be in session.
2. Many schools may wish to make adjustments to their individual school calendars that were published at the end of March, 2014. It is anticipated that there may need to be changes made to the dates for each term, as well as to the dates for report cards and parent-teacher interviews. If this is the case, school administrators will consult with their parents, staff and community regarding proposed changes.
3. Elementary schools will be contacting the parents of their Kindergarten students with information about the plan for the ‘gradual entry’ of these students.
4. Secondary schools will be adjusting the dates for the end of the first and the beginning of the second semesters to balance instructional time and to align with the new examination dates in February, 2015.
Further updates will be provided as new information is available. In the interim, please continue to consult the District’s website, as well as the appropriate school websites.
Superintendent of Schools,
Central Okanagan School District 23,