Will it run or won’t it?
That’s the question facing Chilliwack’s summer school program.
With the continued rotating teacher strikes and the lockout situation, the school district has yet to figure out a plan of action for summer school.
“We’re not quite sure where we’re at with summer school yet because we haven’t heard if the teacher strike action will extend beyond June 27 and whether [BC Public School Employers’ Association] will be responding with lifting the lockout,” said superintendent Evelyn Novak.
“We’re hoping to hear more by the end of the week, because then it’s kind of down to the wire.”
Regardless, it will still be a tight squeeze getting everything organized in time.
Normally the school district already has planning in place for summer learning, but with the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) job action and BCPSEA lockout, plans have been put on hiatus.
“It’s a bit of a waiting period right now,” said Novak. “Once we know, one way or another, whether summer school can take place or will take place because of strike action, that will impact other decisions as well.”
Not having summer school could be detrimental.
Research has shown that students, especially at-risk students, can lose more than two months knowledge over the summer months if they are not engaged in educational activities during that time.
For Chilliwack students, summer learning had been the answer.
The summer learning program includes necessary core academics for students who didn’t meet the grade during the school year, as well as reading and math supports like Read ‘n Rec for students requiring extra assistance.
“We know that for students who need the additional coursework and supports, it will impact them significantly,” said Novak.
Still, Novak is holding hope that the program will go ahead.
“We’re still hoping that we’ll be able to have our summer programming move forward, but it’s going to be tight,” she said.
“We would look at all options and try to put some things in place for students. What that looks like, we’re waiting to see right now.”
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