June 18, 2014 12:15 am

Students in balanced calendar schools could lose weeks if strike isn’t settled soon

WATCH: Families with children at the five year-round BC schools are now facing up to an additional weeks of juggling childcare, work, and hours of missed classes. Elaine Yong reports.

VANCOUVER – Hundreds of students across B.C. attend five balanced calendar schools.

Those schools have three semesters, with a longer break at Christmas and spring and a shorter summer holiday.

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At Kanaka Creek Elementary in Maple Ridge, the 600 kindergarten to Grade 7 students stand to lose six weeks of classes if the strike isn’t settled soon.

They are not supposed to be off for their summer break until the end of July and before the strike they were in the middle of their third term.

“For us it’s potentially losing over 30 days of instructional time,” said Laura Kelly, Kanaka Creek Elementary parent and PAC chair. “We’re short about 180 hours of curriculum time that the government has set, being the minimum for graduation, and so for my two daughters who are in Grade 3 and Grade 6, not only could they potentially be short all that time, but they’re quite anxious that they just don’t know what’s happening.”

Teachers were back behind the picket lines Tuesday morning around the province as a full-scale strike officially got underway.

The BC Teachers’ Federation says it has lowered its wage demands significantly, but the education minister says the government’s current offer is as good as it’s going to get.

Each side is blaming the other for misrepresenting their contract proposals.

Premier Christy Clark is calling on all sides to get back to the negotiating table.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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