What was supposed to officially be the last day of school in the Okanagan and around BC today was anything but.
Teachers were back on the picket lines today and students on their extended summer holidays.
The bitter dispute between the province’s 40-thousand teachers and the Government has also meant that students were not able to pick up their report cards as they usually do on the last day of school.
Natalie Spevakow is a grade six teacher at Dorothea Walker Elementary in Kelowna.
She says this year is the first time in her 17 year teaching career that she hasn’t issued report cards.
“It’s devastating they can’t have a report card but at the same time it is devastating we are in this predicament,” says Spevakow.
With teachers off the job, school district administrators are now busily preparing report cards which will eventually be mailed out to students.
“We are at moment working with school based administrators on our management team to enter manually a lot of marks that would normally be already entered into our system,” says Central Okanagan School District Superintendent Hugh Gloster.
While all students will be getting their report cards later than normal, thousands of them will also be getting incomplete ones.
Students from Kindergarten to grade nine will be lacking grades in their final report cards.
“That has not been declared an essential service so it will be a report card that focuses on promotion standing of student. So parent will know what the plan is for the student for the following year, it will have attendance and any special information for individual programs but other than that it will not contain grades,’ says Gloster.
But the impact doesn’t stop at report cards.
The teachers’ union has also announced that if no deal is reached by this Monday, teachers will also be picketing summer school.
In the Central Okanagan-summer courses are taught online but those too are at risk.
“If teachers remain on strike through the summer then of course there won’t be teachers running those programs either,” says Gloster.