Lines of communication still open between teachers, parents

Parents can rest assured that the lines of communication between home and school remain open.

As you may know, teachers in our district are part of a province-wide job action as negotiations continue to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The collective agreement with our employers expired at the end of the last school year.

Teachers have decided on a job action that is focused on pressuring management while maintaining services to students.

Teachers are not performing some of their regular duties, including supervision of recess and busses and attending administrative meetings. Teachers are not engaging in the normal flow of written communication that occurs between teachers and administrators.

As parents, you may have noticed little of this, because of what teachers are still doing.

Classes are still in session, extra-curricular activities are still going ahead, and our schools remain vibrant centres of learning. Teachers are planning, teaching, marking, evaluating and supporting students as they usually do.

However, recent press reports throughout the province imply that teachers are refusing to communicate student progress to parents. This is not correct. If it were true, that would indeed be a concern to parents.

Parents can rest assured that the lines of communication between home and school remain open.

Teachers will continue to communicate progress through means other than administration-mandated report cards. This communication may take a variety of forms including phone calls, emails, meetings, notes and marked assignments coming home.

If your child requires extra support to complete a course or subject, teachers will definitely communicate your child’s needs with you. Supporting your child to be successful at school is still paramount to teachers.

Please contact teachers directly if you have any questions about your child’s progress. There are a number of ways to do this: phone the school office, drop by the classroom, write a note and send it with your child to school, or email. You can find your teachers’ email addresses either through the school website, or by phoning the school office.

Just like parents, teachers do not want to see education disrupted. Most of us are parents, too.

Teachers are at the bargaining table, working to end this dispute with a negotiated collective agreement that shows respect for the profession and respect for public education. We hope this is resolved soon with a fair and reasonable settlement.

On behalf of your teachers,

Doug Murray

Windermere Teachers’ Association

Bob Wilson

Golden Teachers’ Association

Craig Hillman

Kimberley Teachers’ Association