Sophia Ballard (Grade 1) and her older sister Maia (Grade 3) are all ready for the first day of the school year at Nakusp Elementary after the extended summer vacation.

Back to School

At long last the labour dispute between B.C.’s teachers and the provincial government is over and students have returned to class.

  • Sep. 25, 2014 10:00 a.m.

At long last the labour dispute between B.C.’s teachers and the provincial government is over and students have returned to class.

Thank goodness.

While we applaud both sides for finally reaching an agreement and ending this bitter dispute, we do have to wonder why it is necessary to hold a Professional Development Day the first week back.

That’s right; some school districts in the Kootenay have decided not to postpone the scheduled day off for students. Both School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) and School District 20 (Castlegar/Trail), have proclaimed that students do not have to go to school on Friday.

But not all districts are so rigid.

School District 10 has decided to delay their Pro-D Day (which was scheduled for Monday September 29) in order to allow students to get back into the regular routine of school.

That appears to be a better solution than interrupting the first week of learning. It also shows that changing a Pro-D Day is a valid option.

We have to applaud the district for making the change some of the larger districts refused to alter. We suggest that other districts should look at SD 10 as an example

It’s difficult to understand the logic of not postponing it.

While we concede that Pro-D days are important — allowing teachers and management to have school-wide discussions and host learning and development sessions — it’s hard to justify closing the schools for another day, especially during the first week back.

Parents have already been challenged with the task of finding child care or activities for their children during the strike. Now after being told that school is finally returning, they discover it is going to be a shortened week.

From a public relations point of view, keeping students out of school on Friday is a bit of a disaster for both the teachers and the district, and both sides need to work on improving their public image.

SD 10 made the right decision.


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