June 12, 2014 - Letter to Parents and Guardians:
I am writing to you with an important update on the BC Teachers’ Federation declared withdrawal of services and several changes that will affect our end-of-year procedures, including Provincial Examinations, Grade 12 final grades, and the return of textbooks and resource materials.
Full scale strike action
On June 11, the BCTF provided notice that Stage 2 job action will be extended to Monday, June 16, 2014, with all teachers participating in “study sessions” province-wide. In addition, the BCTF announced that the full withdrawal of teachers' services will commence on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. These actions were sudden and unanticipated, and we regret the additional disruption to students and parents.
As a result of these actions, schools will not be in session for instruction beginning on Monday, June 16, 2014 in North Vancouver.
Provincial Examinations and Grade 12 final grades
The Ministry of Education has been clear in stating that Provincial Examinations will go ahead. The Labour Relations Board issued an Essential Services Order this morning regarding Provincial Examinations and the compilation and submission of final grades for Grade 12 students.
Effective immediately, we will be consulting with the North Vancouver Teachers’ Association regarding the number of teaching staff who will be required to invigilate Grade 10 – 12 Provincial Exams occurring between June 16 and June 24, 2014.
A separate application to the Labour Relations Board is now in process related to CUPE staff needed to support students in the completion of Provincial Examinations.
Further updates will be provided regarding the scheduling of Provincial Examinations. In the meantime, we encourage all students to continue with their review and completion work to prepare for these examinations.
Textbooks, library books, school supplies, locker clean-out, yearbooks
Unless the BCTF and BCPSEA are able to reach an agreement, it is possible that Friday, June 13th will be the last day of classes for students.
With this possibility in mind, students are encouraged to return school materials and property to their respective schools and classrooms at the earliest opportunity. At the same time, students will be asked to take personal materials and supplies home by Friday, June 13. Secondary students will be encouraged to clean out their lockers as soon as possible.
Students who will be writing Provincial Examinations (Grade 10, 11, 12) will be able to retain their textbooks until the exam has been completed. Students writing exams are asked to bring their textbook to the exam for collection.
Principals will be communicating directly with parents through SchoolConnects with further details related to school-based items, including the distribution of yearbooks, where applicable.
Final Reports to Parents
The status of final reports to parents is uncertain at this time as the recent Essential Services Order was limited to the provision of final marks for Grade 12 students. We realize how important reporting is to parents, and will inform you as soon as we receive further clarification on how final reports will be produced and distributed.
We are disheartened by this turn of events, and know that it has intensified feelings of frustration related to a very complex dispute. There is still hope, as bargaining continues throughout the weekend, that a settlement may be possible in the coming days. Although the resolution of this dispute is outside our control, we will, as always, continue to keep you informed as developments occur.
I regret not having better news for you at this time and realize that you may have many questions that this advisory does not address. In closing, please know that your understanding and cooperation in assisting us with these changes to our end-of-year procedures is greatly appreciated.
Superintendent of Schools