The sign in front of Kwalikum Secondary School in Qualicum Beach welcomes students back to classes.

The sign in front of Kwalikum Secondary School in Qualicum Beach welcomes students back to classes.

Students head back to school Wednesday in Parksville Qualicum Beach

An originally scheduled non-class planning day Friday will be postponed, so Thursday and Friday will be normal school days

With an 86 per cent vote in favour of the deal worked out between the province and B.C. Teachers’ Federation, school is back in session tomorrow (Sept. 24) in District 69.

Students in most districts returned to school Monday, but the complications of school reconfigurations here over the summer mean local students are starting two days later, as originally scheduled.

“As there is a great deal of preparatory work that remains following the job action, we will be honouring our commitment to two transitional/reconfiguration days in order to ensure that students are coming into safe, orderly and well-prepared learning environments,” said superintendent Rollie Koop in a news release.

Monday and Tuesday are non-instructional days, “in order to ensure that our school readiness levels are what we need them to be for the arrival of students on Wednesday.”

Wednesday will be as normal a first day back to school as possible, with all students — with the possible exception of Kindergarten students — starting class an hour late and ending an hour early, which school bus schedules will match. Parents of Kindergarten students will be contacted by their schools about their schedules.

Following the locally familiar “reconnect start” system, elementary students will return to their class from the end of last year to take enrolment and be directed to their new class.

Students entering grades 8-12  should attend Ballenas or Kwalikum secondary schools.

Here’s a look at how the schools have been reconfigured from last year, and where students up to and including Grade 7, should go on Wednesday morning.

(Note the names of the former middle schools have already been changed):

• Former French Creek Community School students go to Errington or Qualicum Beach Elementary.

• Parksville Elementary English students go to Springwood Elementary School, French immersion go to Oceanside Elementary School.

• Former Qualicum Beach Elementary students go to the new Qualicum Beach Elementary (former Middle) or Arrowview Elementary.

• Winchelsea Elementary students go to Springwood or Oceanside Elementary School.

An originally scheduled non-class planning day Friday will be postponed, so Thursday and Friday will be normal school days.

Despite a burst water pipe at the new Qualicum Beach Elementary Aug. 13 which caused considerable damage, the school will open Wednesday along with the rest of the district.

Koop said they had crews re-doing floors over the weekend and will be working right down to Tuesday, but as of Monday morning he was confident they would be able to open Wednesday.

“We are excited about beginning the school year and once again feeling the excitement and energy that comes with the sights and sounds of student learning,” Koop concluded.

Visit the websites of The NEWS (www.pqbnews.com) and the district (www.sd69.bc.ca) for the latest developments.