Countdown is on to reach settlement

Kimberley Independent School ready to roll on September 2; public school students wait for word on strike/lockout

It is the last week of summer vacation — or at least it should be — but it is looking like Kimberley public school students will be extending their vacation into the fall.

On a positive note, BC Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker and Minister of Education Peter Fassbender are meeting face to face today to try to reach an end to the ongoing strike/lockout.

Both the BCTF and the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) have agreed to media silence during arbitration with mediator Vince Ready, although both Fassbender and Iker  have spoken to the media in recent days.

Rocky Mountain SD6 has posted the following information on their website this week:

“There is still no resolution to the labour dispute between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the BC Public School Employers’ Association. This means that teachers remain on strike, and we will not be able to open schools for students until the situation changes. When we are able to confirm the start day for students we will post general school opening information.”

However, not all Kimberley students are waiting for an end to the labour dispute. Those enrolled at the Kimberley Independent School will be starting class next week on September 2.

KIS Principal Cal Johnson says he and his staff are ready for school to begin, and they are taking some calls from parents of public school students inquiring about possible enrollment at the independent school for their children this year.

“Right now the numbers are up a couple of students from last year,” Johnson said. “We’ve been taking a few calls from parents who say they’ve had enough of the labour dispute.”

The calls are mainly inquiries about the upper grades, eight and nine. Johnson says the Pre-K class is down a little, and doesn’t typically fill up until the school year is underway.

He says the school could take a few more students, but there are wait lists for certain grades. Currently there are 108 students enrolled at the school for the 2014/2015 school year.

Earlier this summer the BC government offered to pay $40 per child under 13 to parents to assist in child care as the labour dispute continues. However, the fine print on that offer reads that the money won’t be paid out until the strike/lockout is over.

On a visit to Kimberley earlier this summer, the Premier also said that teachers would not be legislated back to work.

Still, hope remains that things will be settled sooner rather than later.

Paul Carriere, Superintendent of School District Six says that instructional minutes required are set out in the School Act.

“Clearly we are hopeful of a resolution,  and do anticipate that this dispute will not carry on for a long period of time and so any impact will hopefully be minor. But if a school year is shortened due to a labour dispute, a district may not be able to offer the required minutes in particular courses or programs. However, curricula are designed around prescribed learning outcomes, which are not tightly tied to specific amounts of time. I would add that while school districts are required to provide 878 hours of instruction to grades 1-7 students (for example), there is no rule that says that a student must be in class for 878 hours to complete a grade. “Completion” is based on learning outcomes being met. I believe teachers will have enough time to provide for students to meet critical outcomes of any course or program of study — although they may have less time for exploring topics aimed at less critical outcomes.

“As a system we will be focused on ensuring that students meet prescribed outcomes and in the case of Grade 12  students, that they are well prepared for work or post-secondary opportunities.”

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

KSCU Branch Manager Brent Jossy and assistant Manager, Tara Field, meet with David Bellm society President to present cheque. Submitted file
Kootenay Savings supports Indoor Tennis Society

The Kimberley Indoor Tennis Courts Society is grateful to Kootenay Savings Credit… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read