These are very challenging times for schools in BC, and we aren’t immune to the current economic situation, although we can say we’re better off than many.
During these times we start to examine the systems, sometimes looking to assign blame. Although it can be good to get into theoretical debates about processes, it is important to remember that the people effected are our friends, family, and neighbours.
Our Superintendent, Deborah Palmer does a good job expressing this on the School District website:
We are in challenging times. The challenges we continue to face are declining enrolment, increased cost pressures, increased service delivery pressures and a finite amount of resources.
This year has been particularly challenging as teaching employees with 15 years of service have been displaced and SETAs with 22 years of service have been laid off and required to “bump” due to school populations being reorganized. Principals in excess of 25 years of service have been reassigned and asked to take on vice-principal duties and retirement vacancies at the school board office have not been replaced. All of these situations are real and none of them are reflective of the work ethic or the integrity of the individuals. These situations are reflective of the realities of the economic and demographic times that we are in.
We are all experiencing the challenge of the financial and demographic picture, none so much as those who have been displaced or received a layoff notice.
As I stated in the Coast Reporter last Friday, we are in challenging times AND we are continuing to provide exemplary service. Over the past week, I have seen incredible support for our employees from management, colleagues and students. Our employees and our students are our greatest assets. Please be assured that the leaders of the respective groups are working collaboratively and diligently to provide the best possible working and learning conditions in School District No. 46.