Rumble on recess

Lack of recess supervision a sticking point with both sides of teacher labour dispute

  • Sep. 9, 2011 10:00 a.m.

With B.C. teachers conducting “teach only” job action, the local school district has cancelled recess for the duration.

In a letter sent home with students, superintendent Jim Ansell said the “lack of progress in collective bargaining between the BC Teacher’s Federation and the BC Public School Employer’s Association,” means teachers will not be doing certain administrative tasks, including playground supervision.

“We are confident that all parties have agreed that the learning situation for students will not be impacted by this action.

“However, with safety as our primary concern, we will be temporarily canceling recess break at all levels,” he said.

He said this is the same step they have taken in the past.

Individual schools, he added, will likely arrange a break for a snack on a class-by- class basis.

While the high schools don’t have recess to cancel, their schedules will also be adjusted in order to properly coordinate with the bus schedules.

As a result, schools will adjust their schedules by 15 minutes and the bus schedule will be altered.

Parents can check their school’s website or contact the school’s main office for schedule details.

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers Association president Debbie Morran said they are disappointed with the move, which only about six of the 60 districts in the province have done.

“Teachers are very concerned that students will not have the opportunity to have a mid-morning break unless they choose to take them outside during instructional time and then, of course, supervise them,” she said.

“This district did not even attempt to schedule sufficient administrative staff to cover recess supervision at middle and elementary schools, a task that would have been possible had they wanted to, as  there are fewer students and more administrators than ever.”

“Teachers are opposed to this decision, and our students deserve better,” she concluded.




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