By: Laura Keil

With the Memorandum of Agreement between BCPSEA and the teacher’s union, School Disrict #57 says schools will open Monday, Sept. 22nd at the usual time, but classes will be just 90 minutes long that day. Busses will run at the usual time in the morning. Bus students will be transported home following the morning session.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 23 schools will begin full day programming. Regular bus routes and schedules will be in effect.

The Valemount Secondary School website says on Monday there will be an assembly in the theatre at 8:35, and homeroom classes after that for timetables, locker information and fee payments. Students should bring school fees ($25 per student). Homeroom class will end at 10:15. Buses will run on this shortened day, with the return bus leaving at 10:30. Tuesday is the first regular day of classes. Students can report to their first class at 8:35.

McBride Secondary Staff will welcome students back on Monday. There will be a brief assembly followed by a Gr. 1 group session and then a condensed run through the schedule for Day 1. Students will be dismissed at approximately 10 a.m.

Valemount Elementary school website says on Monday at 8:40 students in Grades 1-7 will meet in the gym for an assembly. At 10:20am – Grades 1-7 will be dismissed. At 10:25am busses will pick up students. On Tuesday, at 8:40 students will report the gym for a short assembly. They should bring their school supplies Tuesday.

At McBride Centennial Elementary, the first bell is at 8:40 am and classes start at 8:45 am. McBride Centennial will have an alternate kindergarten schedule to accommodate rural busing.

School District 57 says it will continue with the gradual entry process for kindergarten students entering school this year. The gradual entry of phasing in with a small group and shortened attendance times is intended to allow children to feel comfortable as they adjust to their new environment, routines, teacher and peers.

Kindergarten students and parents will report to the kindergarten room from 8:40 am – 9:30am. Parents will receive a schedule at this time for gradual entry. On Tuesday, kindergarten students will attend for the first 45 minutes of the day. On this first day, schools will provide parents with a schedule outlining the gradual entry for their child. Gradual Entry Schedule Outline (Specific times will be provided by the school)

Week 1
Monday, Sept. 22
45 minute session
Tuesday, Sept. 23
1.5 hour session
Wednesday, Sept. 24
1.5 hour session
Thursday, Sept. 25
2 hour session
Friday, Sept. 25
3 hour session

Week 2  
Monday, Sept. 29
4 hour session
Tuesday, Sept. 30
4.5 hour session
Wednesday, Oct. 1
First Full Day

**Hixon, Giscome and McBride Centennial will have an alternate kindergarten schedule to accommodate rural busing.

School Calendar, Secondary Semesters, Secondary School Provincial Exams

On their website, the school district says that due to the late start to the school year, it is likely the Ministry of Education will allow district staff to “balance secondary semesters and schedule provincial exams at a later date.” The district says “Senior staff are working with the Ministry of Education and the Prince George District Teachers Association today and the district expects to announce a revised semester 1 end, Ministry of Education exam schedule and semester 2 start” by next week.

The district says secondary school principals will provide this scheduling information to parents. It is likely that the January 23rd Non Instruction Day will be shifted to coincide with the adjustment in semesters. All remaining Non Instructional Days and scheduled school year holidays are confirmed as determined earlier this year by the Board of Education.