In holding pattern over whether schools will open on time

Abbotsford school district superintendent Kevin Godden says decision not likely before Aug. 29

Abbotsford teachers took part in a series of rotating one-day strikes in late May and early June

Abbotsford teachers took part in a series of rotating one-day strikes in late May and early June

A decision on whether schools will open on their scheduled start date of Sept. 2 will likely not be made until Friday, Aug. 29.

Kevin Godden, superintendent of the Abbotsford school district, states in a letter to parents that district staff remain hopeful a settlement will be reached between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) before schools are due to open.

He said if a settlement is reached in time, all public schools are expected to be open on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

“In this scenario, we anticipate that there may be some delays in regular instruction as course scheduling for students, particularly at the secondary level, may need to be adjusted,” Godden said.

If there is no settlement, some or all schools in the district might be behind picket lines.

“While schools will remain open, we will not be able to offer regular instruction as we do not anticipate that unionized staff will cross picket lines,” Godden said.

In that case, parents will be encouraged not to send their kids to school.

“Should any students arrive at school while picket lines are in place, our school administrators will ensure that they are cared for until they can be safely returned to their homes under the supervision of a parent or guardian,” Godden said.

The two sides reached an impasse in negotiating a new contract, and the BCTF began a full-scale strike on June 17.

Godden encourages parents to check the school district website, sd34.bc.ca, over the Labour Day long weekend for any changes.

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