A shorter school year

The late start to the school year means teachers and students must work with a tighter timeline.

The late start to the school year means teachers and students must work with a tighter timeline in order to complete all the necessary work.

The shorter schedule means students will lose more than a week of classroom time in each semester this year.

As a result, the school year will be more tightly focussed than in the past.

It is possible to complete the required work on a shortened schedule, but there are also some challenges.

Anyone who has worked at a job with deadlines or time constraints will understand the added stresses and pressures which result when the timelines are shortened or when the start of a project is delayed.

Losing three weeks from the school year will have some noticeable effects. It is not a situation teachers, parents or students would prefer.

The shorter year is the result of a long and difficult labour dispute between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the province. The dispute also had schools shut in June.

The dispute has now been resolved, with the teachers voting 86 per cent in favour of a six-year agreement.

The new agreement means school schedules will run as planned for the next few years, but the question must be raised whether a similar dispute will arise in the future, when the new agreement expires.

A prolonged dispute, such as the one which has now concluded, is an uncomfortable situation for all involved, whether teachers and school staff, students or parents.

A better method of negotiation is needed now, long before the present agreement expires, so we do not experience a repeat of the dispute which has now concluded.