Start of summer school postponed in Vancouver amid B.C. teachers’ strike
With B.C. teachers still on strike, the Vancouver school board has pushed back the start of summer school to July 7.
By July 3, the district says it will let parents and students know whether summer school will happen this year at all.
In a news release today (June 26), the VSB said the delay will "provide additional time for the two bargaining parties to reach a deal as well as to allow for a decision from the Labour Relations Board around whether remedial summer school courses will be deemed an essential service".
“We know how important summer school is for many of our parents and students. That is why we are doing everything possible to keep summer school viable,” VSB superintendent Steve Cardwell said in the release.
According to the release, the VSB holds remedial courses at John Oliver, Prince of Wales, Point Grey, David Thompson, and Van Tech secondary schools. Summer school sees around 17,000 registrations a year, including "secondary preview courses, remedial courses, secondary completion courses as well as courses and programs for elementary students".
On June 25, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation announced it will picket summer school sites if a deal is not made by June 30.
"If the government does not come with new funding to reach a fair settlement by June 30, teachers are prepared to extend the strike into summer and picket out summer school. This was not a decision we made lightly, but we cannot allow government to continue to underfund BC’s education system," BCTF president Jim Iker said in a news release.
That same day, Education Minister Peter Fassbender called the BCTF's decision "unfortunate".
"Their decision today will impact thousands of students and it will do little to bring the parties closer to agreement," Fassbender said in a statement.
“While the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) has an application before the Labour Relations Board to deem some aspects of summer school an essential service, this would only partially mitigate the impacts from the BCTF’s strike."