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School District 43 holds off on summer school decision until July 3

Summer school students in Coquitlam district will have to wait until July 3 to find out if their courses will go ahead. - THINKSTOCK
Summer school students in Coquitlam district will have to wait until July 3 to find out if their courses will go ahead.
— image credit: THINKSTOCK

Thousands of students who have signed up for summer school courses in School District 43 will have to wait until July 3 to learn if their programs are going ahead.

And for high school students waiting for report cards, information will be available after July 4.

Superintendent Tom Grant said Thursday that SD43 will wait until a few days before summer classes are scheduled to start on July 7 to decide whether to proceed, in the hopes that a resolution between the BC Teachers' Federation and the province's bargaining arm, BC Public School Employers' Association, strike a deal.

"In a day or two, we can have things up and running," Grant said of summer school if a deal is reached.

No matter what happens, students and parents can get information on the district's website (www.sd43.bc.ca) and plans are in place to email them.

As many as 5,479 students have registered for summer courses in SD43, including remedial classes, high school credit, secondary skill building and programs for elementary and middle school students. As well, the lucrative international education program runs summer ESL and cultural courses for international students.

As long as teachers remain off the job, CUPE workers are also affected, said Local 561 president Dave Ginter.

For example, custodians and clerical staff expecting to work at schools hosting summer programs don't know if they will have a job to go to if the strike continues through the summer while custodians who work at schools that are closed for the summer and not behind picket lines may still be able to work and collect pay.

"That causes me nothing but nightmares," Ginter said.

WAIT AND SEE FOR CUPE

Other CUPE workers are affected, too. Some, such as payroll clerks, have been declared essential and are working while others on 10-month contracts normally don't get paid during the summer and others have either lost or could lose work, and pay, unless they use vacation, sick leave or OT to make up wages.

There's a provision in a tentative five-year agreement to repay CUPE workers salary lost due to the strike but Ginter said said his local has yet to ratify the deal and is waiting to see how local bargaining progresses. CUPE workers, can however, get strike pay if they join teachers on the picket line.

Meanwhile, report card information will be sent out soon. For students in kindergarten to Grade 8, principals will be sending a letter to parents. Grade 9 students will receive a report card but in cases where assessment information is not available, the course will be graded NM, for "no mark." Grade 10 to 12 students will receive a report card with final grades only. These report cards will be mailed on July 4. Provincial exam marks will also be entered into students' records.

Information will be sent to parents and is also available at www.sd43.bc.ca. Also, watch tricitynews.com for developments.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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