District comes under fire

The Vernon School District is being accused of dragging its heels when it comes to preparing for classes.

The Vernon Teachers Association says the process of restoring class size limits and support for students with special needs is being delayed.

“Teachers want to start working with their new students as soon as possible and are very concerned about losing valuable teaching time. Teachers, parents, and students need the board of education to communicate and to act to fulfill their side of the agreement,” said Lisa LaBoucane, union president.

“The VTA has been asking for months to work with the district on the implementation of the restored language and the prevention of potential issues. The process has been far too slow.”

LaBoucane says VTA will work with the district through the summer to ensure a smooth start to the next school year.

“One of the joys of starting school for kids is know who your teacher will be. This may not happen for students for several weeks.”

However, the school district insists it’s co-operating with the VTA to implement restored contract language.

“The district is adding 38 teachers for September and the maintenance department is installing five portables, refurbishing classrooms and ordering classroom furniture and learning resources,” said Joe Rogers, superintendent

“Schools have been given their staffing allocations for September including teacher, education assistant, teacher-librarian and administration time and are completing their initial class placement meetings. As new students arrive over the summer or in early September, some classes may need to be adjusted or divisions added to accommodate the incoming students. This is a normal process that happens each September.”

Rogers added that the district is working with the B.C. Public School Employers Association and the B.C. Teachers Federation to address any interpretation issues arising from the restored language.