As you know, the continuing dispute between the BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public Employers Association has not yet resulted in a negotiated settlement. It is possible that the two parties could reach a deal soon, but this would also need to be ratified by the union. We are hoping that both parties will negotiate all weekend to find some common ground so that the school year can proceed as planned. It is also possible that both sides could decide on a cooling off period and that the school year would start as planned for September 2. Consequently, we do not have any firm information on whether or not classes will be in session for Tuesday. At this moment, there is a strike and that means that teachers are planning to set up picket lines on Tuesday. Should this occur on Tuesday, we would ask that you keep your children at home. We will be receiving updates from the Board Office if this changes. Please read the attached notice from Superintendent, Tom Grant.
If we are not in session next week, I wanted to respond to a few questions that you may have regarding a postponed start-up. I also want you to know that our primary goal if the school start-up gets delayed is to get classes up and running as quickly as possible. This would likely result in us changing some of our start-up procedures, but we will communicate any changes with you and your child.
Q: My child is new to Riverside. How will he/she know where to go for classes?
A: Regardless of when the first day of school will be, we will start with a RAP and hand out time-tables. It will follow the same format as a typical first day (students here for a partial day- as per communication sent home in mid-August). We will partner up new students with current students in RAP class to assist with an orientation of the building so that students know how to read their timetable and find their classes. The RAP teachers will facilitate this orientation. EAL and International Students will receive their English assessment from Ms. Yamamoto and she will organize a separate orientation for those students.
Q: When will my child get his/her photo taken if this does not happen on September 5th?
A: Photos will be rescheduled with Mountain West when we are back in session. Mountain West works with 132 schools, so they will need to reschedule most of their appointments. We will inform students through RAP of the new date for photos if we are not in session on September 5th.
Q: When will my child get his/her locker and agenda book?
A: We will distribute lockers and agenda books in the first two weeks that students are back in session. Normally, teachers distribute lockers and agenda books. It is possible that when the labour dispute is over, this work will need to be done by administration. If this occurs, administrators will distribute lockers and agenda books, but this may take slightly longer to do as there are only three of us.
Q: When will my child pay his/her fees?
A: Fees will be collected in the first two weeks that students are back in session. Normally, teachers collect fees during RAP in the first week of school. It is possible that when the labour dispute is over, this work will need to be done by administration. If this occurs, administrators will be calling down students by RAP each day to collect fees. Since there are only three administrators, this process will likely take longer than it typically does.
Q: My child requires a timetable change. When can he/she see the counsellor?
A: Counsellors will be making timetable changes once we are back in session. The Counsellors are intending to adjust their days to work later hours so that they can reduce the amount of time needed to complete all time table changes. We expect that course changes will take 1-2 weeks to complete. Once we receive notification that the strike is over, you can also email your child’s counsellor regarding course changes and counsellors will attempt to address course changes on-line in between appointments. Our office will be prioritizing appointments based on the following criteria:
1. New registrations
2. Grade 9 and Grade 12
3. Grade 11
4. Grade 10
Q: My child is part of the hockey academy. When will this begin and what will happen with the fees that I’ve paid?
A: The first on-ice session for the hockey academy is scheduled for September 8, 2014. If classes are not in session by September 8th, RPM will be prorating the academy fee to account for the loss of instructional time in the academy. The on-ice sessions are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The first on-ice session will occur after the first class session at Riverside in order for staff to go over any requirements and details for the course. For example, if school reconvenes on a Wednesday, the first on-ice session would be on the Friday. Students would attend class sessions at Riverside on the Wednesday and Thursday.
Q: My child is part of the High Performance Athletic Academy. When will this begin and what will happen with the fees that I’ve paid?
A: The first session at TWIST Conditioning is scheduled for September 5, 2014. If classes are not in session by September 5th, TWIST will be prorating the academy fee to account for the loss of instructional time in the academy. The training sessions at TWIST are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The first session at TWIST will occur after the first class session at Riverside in order for staff to go over any requirements and details for the course. For example, if school reconvenes on a Monday, the first session at TWIST would be on the Wednesday. Students would attend class sessions at Riverside on the Monday and Tuesday.
When school reconvenes, your child will receive a package that outlines several items, including fee statement, verification form, DPA, Medical Alert form, etc. We would like to encourage you to do as much of this on-line as possible at http://www.sd43.bc.ca/secondary/riverside/Parents/Forms/Pages/default.aspx. If you could complete these forms prior to school starting, you would greatly assist us in our start-up once we are back in session.
Please note that the Code of Conduct is posted on our web-site at http://www.sd43.bc.ca/secondary/riverside/About/COC/Pages/default.aspx. Please review this with your child prior to the start-up of the school year.
1:1 Technology Initiative
As soon as classes begin, grade 9 and 10 students should bring their tablets or laptops to school so that we can get them up on our network as quickly as possible. Teachers will be integrating the technology in their classrooms as soon as classes start. If your family is in a situation which makes it challenging to provide a device for your child at this time, please contact your child’s counsellor and we will do our best to assist your child with technology.
Please continue to visit our web-site for updates at http://www.sd43.bc.ca/secondary/riverside/Pages/default.aspx.