Report cards at risk in teachers' strike

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has filed an application with the Labour Relations Board to have report cards be declared an essential service. There is currently no deadline for a ruling., and School District 60 Assistant Superintendant Dave Sloan says its unlikely a decision will be made before November 14. Report cards are usually sent home between November 24 and December 2.

Sloan says, "We're playing a bit of a waiting game to see whether or not we'll be sending home report cards that are created by administration or teachers will be in the position that they will complete report cards normally."

If report cards are prepared by administration instead of teachers, they will be "incomplete", and only include such things as a student's attendance and subjects taken. They will be lacking any grades or comments attached, unless the class is taught by a member of the administration.

"We are compelled by the School Act to report at least three times formally in a school year. We can only postpone those reports so long before they start to stack up."

To avoid that, Sloan hopes a decision will be made by the middle of this month.

As all teachers have a professional obligation to give parents an update on student progress, the teachers have said they will be doing so in their own way. This could include contacting parents by phone or email, or using the upcoming early dismissal and non-instructional days to meet with parents.

A letter will soon be sent out from the Superintendent's office encouraging parents to check in directly with their children's teachers. Similar letters have already been sent out in many school district across the province.

These informal discussions still won't count as one of the year's formal reports.

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