Education Minister George Abbott (right) went on a tour of the new Rosedale traditional community school on Monday which opened at the beginning of January.

Education Minister George Abbott (right) went on a tour of the new Rosedale traditional community school on Monday which opened at the beginning of January.

Report cards will be absent next term

BC Education Minister George Abbott confirmed no report cards during a visit to Chilliwack Monday.

Some students in Chilliwack won’t be getting report cards once again because of the ongoing labour dispute with teachers, Education Minister George Abbott confirmed Monday.

He said “less-than-fulsome” report cards were sent home with students after the first term, despite the labour dispute, allowing school districts to comply with the School Act.

However, that’s not going to be the case for most second-term report cards. Grade 12 students will receive marks required for graduation, post-secondary applications and scholarship purposes.

“We don’t believe, given the present juncture that we’re at in terms of the labour dispute, that it would be appropriate to send out a second less-than-fulsome report card,” Abbott said.

The minister made the statement during a visit to the Rosedale Traditional Community School Monday.

Michael Audet, the Chilliwack School District’s superintendent, said second-term report cards “would be basically blank anyway because teachers are not writing report cards.”

That activity has not been deemed an essential service by the Labour Relations Board, he said.

However, he added that wherever principals and vice-principals teach classes — those students will get report cards.

“It’s a small group,” he agreed, which could reach 200 students in schools where principals and vice-principals are teaching classes like physical education.

Audet said report cards are “crucial” for providing feedback that contributes to student success, and he would support changes to make them required even during labour disputes.

Abbott said the issue is “very much a concern” of his, and “I am not prepared to see this dispute go on indefinitely.”

“We need to have every child and the parents of every child knowing how they’re doing,” he said. “There are some kids who are vulnerable, some kids who are on the bubble, and it’s those kids in particular that may suffer because of no report cards during the labour dispute.”

B.C. teachers and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association are reportedly still miles apart despite 11 months of collective bargaining.

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