Teachers, principals and staff are ready to welcome kids back to polished classrooms this Tuesday, Sept. 3, even if for just a couple of hours.
Wednesday will see students in grades 1 to 12 head back to class for about two and a half hours on the Coast; kindergarteners will start later in the week.
Parents of students entering kindergarten are urged to contact their child’s school directly to find out specific kindergarten start times.
Start and end times for students headed back to class on Sept. 3 will also vary (see graphic for more details).
All kids will need for their first day back is a snack, a pen or pencil and pad of paper, superintendent of schools Patrick Bocking told Coast Reporter this week.
“What they do that first day back varies from school to school, but if they bring those basic things, that should cover the first day,” he said, noting teachers will let students and parents know when they need to bring in the rest of their back to school supplies.
Most schools have returning principals this year to welcome students, save for Pender Harbour Secondary, Chatelech Secondary and Langdale Elementary School.
Paul Bishop is now principal in Pender Harbour, Mark Heidebrecht is the new principal at Chatelech, and Gregory Walters is the new principal at Langdale.
Bocking said all District principals are excited to start the school year and that they’re “looking at some really great projects.”
“At the elementary level they’re particularly excited to be working very much as a district team to have an absolute focus on any students who are struggling somewhat with their reading,” Bocking said. “We want to make sure that every single one of our students reads at grade level before they move on.”
At the secondary school level, principals have a unified goal as well.
“They’re going to be working together to figure out how to make sure every single student graduates,” Bocking said. “Some students do drift off for different reasons, and they’re just not comfortable with that. They want to be focused on that and really make sure that every one of our students is successful and graduates with pride.”
Bocking hopes students will take pride in their schools when they see them this week. Each school on the Coast has been deep cleaned and polished and many were fixed up over the summer with new flooring and paint.
While everything seems to be in place for a stellar school year, there is some concern about the threat of teachers and school workers striking this fall.
“There is a possibility that there could be some issues with collective agreement discussions at the provincial level. We really don’t know what that’s going to look like, but we’ll certainly approach it with a problem-solving attitude with the kids in mind and do the best we can to manage that situation as it emerges,” Bocking said, noting parents will be made aware of any changes through things like notices and phone calls home. Parents can also keep up to date on the SD46 website at www.sd46.bc.ca
Despite those concerns, Bocking said things in SD46 are “in really good shape” for the coming school year.
“We’re in a really good place right now with most of our principals continuing in their current schools. Because there’s so much consistency from last year to this year, we are really able to focus on kids and their learning and we’re really excited about that more than anything else,” Bocking said. “We’re just very excited for this year and think we’re going to do some really great things with kids this year.”