WATCH: Okanagan independent schools back in session as public sector labour dispute continues
OKANAGAN – Some Okanagan students headed back to class despite the labour dispute. Many independent schools were back in session today.
“It’s definitely opened up the doors for people looking for alternative options for their children,” says Marilyn Ilchuk the principal at North Okanagan Junior Academy, a small independent Christian school near Armstrong.
Ilchuck says the school has been fielding some additional inquiries from parents due to the teachers dispute.
“They are frustrated, they’re looking for other options and they’re out there seeing what else is available,” says Ilchuk. “They just want to get their kids back into school.”
The school is handling inquiries from parents on a case-by-case basis.
“If it’s just babysitting that’s not something we really are interested in doing. We would want them to be here long-term to help them to grow in their academic life as well as socially,” says Ilchuk.
The Kelowna Waldorf School was also back in session for many students today.
“We’ve been having some calls about the school, perhaps more increased than normal, but that’s difficult to say,” says teacher and development administrator Michelle Townley.
The school has waiting lists for some younger grades and isn’t offering short-term spots.
“To place a child within a classroom for six weeks and then to withdraw them from that classroom is very disruptive,” says Townley.
Sending your kids to independent schools comes with a cost.
At the Kelowna Waldorf School regular tuition for a grade school student is $5,260. North Okanagan Junior Academy charges $210 per month.