Strike Update and Information for Parents re Resources Five items to share today . . . 1. Friday, September 5th Study Session: We have received word from the Saanich Teachers' Association that on Friday, September 5th STA members will not be mounting picket lines in the district. All STA members will instead be expected to attend a study session at the Mary Winspear Centre followed by a demonstration to which CUPE employees who are on-call or not assigned to work that day have been invited. All CUPE employees who are scheduled to work on Friday should report to work at their usual location for their scheduled shift. While our schools will have administrators and support staff in the building, we will not have the staff needed to safely deal with students and therefore request that parents not send their children to school. 2. Preparing for the Week of September 8th: While we fully expect the strike to continue through Friday, we are unsure of what will occur next week. Our hope is that citizens of all description are becoming engaged in a community dialogue that includes pressure and support on the BCTF and government to make whatever moves are necessary to bring this impasse to resolution. Again, we encourage people to become informed by referring to www.bctf.ca and www.bcpsea.bc.ca and contributing to the solution in whatever ways you can. We will continue to communicate with the STA over the weekend and send out updates regarding the plan for Monday as soon as we can. We appreciate that we continue to get advanced notice from the STA which allows us to keep our community informed and make the appropriate plans. 3. Supporting Learning – Elementary: Message from Assistant Superintendent Scott Stinson and Elementary Principals and Vice-Principals: As the current uncertainty continues with regard to the beginning of the new school year, some families have inquired about ways to engage their children in on-going learning. As is the case during the summer months, when school is not in session, recommendations for keeping students involved with their learning include: · Have children read every day. Both independent and shared reading are excellent ways to maintain reading fluency and understanding. · Ask questions about what your child is reading. · Keep a journal. Parents/Guardians can respond to journal entries and ask questions. · Check out the Learning Commons resources available on our school's website under the "Resources" tab. We also encourage parents to visit the public library and other community organizations that can provide students and families with learning opportunities. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide school resources, such as text books at this time. However, additional on-line resources can be found at · LearnNow BC ( http://www.learnnowbc.ca ). Several Math and Reading resources are available on that website. · The Canadian Parents for French web site, which is providing strike-specific advice and resources at http://bc-yk.cpf.ca/resources/for-parents/2014-strike-resource-for-students-in-french-programs. We will continue to update families as new information becomes available. 4. Supporting Learning – Middle and Secondary: Message from Assistant Superintendent Mark Fraser and Middle and Secondary Principals and Vice-Principals: Many of our schools are receiving requests to provide students with textbooks or other learning resources. At this time we are not able to provide any students with these resources. Even if CUPE staff are present as may be the case on Friday, schools do not have the required staff to manage the distribution process which normally takes a number of days to coordinate and requires teachers’ presence to ensure appropriate resources are provided. In terms of supporting learning, we encourage parents and students to visit the public library and other community organizations that can provide students with a variety of learning resources. Additionally, listed below are some on-line resources that parents and students can access. In some cases students may need to create an account so we encourage parents to be involved in the process. All of our neighbourhood schools have web pages with a link to their Learning Commons under the Resources tab. The Learning Commons page has links to a variety of resources and curricular areas. Please explore other District schools, in particular the secondary schools, as each has slightly different links and resources. To quickly access each school, from the District home page ( http://www.sd63.bc.ca/ ) click "Schools" and then "School Listing." We will continue to update this information as other resources become known or available. As noted above, on-line resources include: · Learn Now BC: http://www.learnnowbc.ca/services/default.aspx · OpenSchool BC: http://www.openschool.bc.ca/ · Canadian Parents for French: http://bc-yk.cpf.ca/resources/for-parents/2014-strike-resource-for-students-in-french-programs/ · Watch Know Learn: An American site with many useful resources: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/ 5. Requests for Pro-Rating of Fees: We have received a number of calls requesting consideration of a reduction in fee payments for items such as transportation and secondary academies. Please know that we are reviewing this and will be considering options should the strike continue beyond this week. The Board may determine that it is appropriate to reduce fees should the strike continue for a number of weeks, but we are not at that point yet; in the meantime we thank you for your patience.