I am pleased that teachers and students were back in classes today, learning in safe and effective environments throughout our district.
At this time I am uncertain as to what will happen next in this challenging and very complex dispute. Over the spring break I encourage you to watch our website, and pay attention to media reports. I also encourage you to make yourself aware of the issues that have led us to where we are with respect to the actions that are being taken by members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and the Ministry of Education.
Website addresses for the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, the Ministry of Education, and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation are available on our district website (sd8.bc.ca) and can connect you with information that will help you become well informed.
Over the past several days I have received many messages from community members, parents and teachers in relation to the job action, and the action (or not) being taken by the teachers, the Ministry of Education — and me.
Clearly emotions are high and close to the surface, feelings are tender, and for many there is a tremendous sense of confusion and uncertainty. It is clear that no matter what the message, we all hold in common a deep commitment to our children and youth.
As the superintendent of this school district, and a champion of public education, I wish to be perfectly clear that I value and respect our teachers and all of our staff who work tirelessly on behalf of our students. I hope that our community recognizes that the issues with which we are currently dealing are incredibly complex — and that perspectives of our teachers and staff, including me, are diverse. What we have in common is a deeply held belief that we want to serve the common good of our youngest citizens.
I encourage you to become involved, not by choosing sides, but by seeking a better understanding of the issues and then finding ways to advocate according to your own conscience and ability. No good will result from this challenge if we become mired in anger and hostility at the expense of well-considered and well-informed action.
Kootenay Lake School District