Schools expected to open Monday

Schools in Williams Lake and across the province are expected to open their doors to students this Monday.

Schools in Williams Lake and across the province are expected to open their doors to students this Monday.

School District 27 superintendent Mark Thiessen made the highly anticipated announcement late Wednesday afternoon in a parent information bulletin.

“If both the BCTF and boards of education ratify the tentative Provincial Agreement over the next two days, school will start for students in Grades 1 through 12 this coming Monday, September 22,” Thiessen said.

The first day of school, which is coming three weeks later than scheduled, will be a half day for students.

Thiessen said the half day will allow students to meet teachers in the morning and teachers to organize classes in the afternoon.

“While principals and vice principals have done everything they can to prepare for school start-up, they have not been able to meet with teachers or, in many cases, with their support staff for a few months,” Thiessen said.

“Staff meetings on Monday afternoon will be very beneficial as schools will be better prepared for all classes the next day.”

Kindergarten students will be on a gradual entry next week, he said, noting teachers should be contacting parents by Friday regarding schedules at the various schools.

He said all kindergarten students will be attending school full-time beginning Monday, September 29.

Buses will run in the morning and at the end of the half day on Monday, September 22 and as usual in the mornings and afternoons beginning Tuesday, September 23.

Thiessen said the bus that picks up students in the Chilcotin on Sundays will run at its regularly scheduled time on Sunday, September 21.

Visit or contact the bus garages in Williams Lake at (250)398-3881 or 100 Mile House at (250)395-2230 for more information.

Though the ministry did say time lost due to the strike would be made up, Thiessen said the ministry will not add any additional hours to this school year’s calendar after all.

“The Ministry of Education was clear in its communications with school districts that no additional instructional hours to school calendars are required. This means to School District No. 27 that all of the breaks originally scheduled for this year’s school calendar will continue as scheduled. Fall Break (November 10-14, 2014), Christmas Break (December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015), Spring Break (March 9 – March 20, 2015), and shortened days to meet with parents (October 20-23, 2014) will continue as scheduled.”

Teachers will also participate in a scheduled Pro D day Friday, Sept. 26, making the first week back to school three-and-a-half days long.