Welcome to a new school year in Saanich. While we are all looking forward to another year of connections, learning and engagement, we clearly have a hurdle or two to clear before we are fully up and rolling. Front and centre in everyone's mind is our collective hope for a resolution to teacher bargaining and a full and regular start-up on September 2nd. That hope is tempered, however, by our keen awareness of and respect for the processes that are currently underway, and the knowledge that those processes may or may not lead to labour peace by September 1st. With that in mind, we need to be ready for anything.
Accordingly, we are asking that parents and community members continue to monitor media reports, this website and the Saanich School District website for updates on the status of school start-up. If a resolution is found during the week of August 25th then there is a possibility that we will have a close-to-normal start on Septebmer 2nd. If negotiations (or perhaps mediation) carry on through the long weekend and resolution is achieved just prior to our scheduled start date, we will likely have to schedule a day for 'staff only' in order to ensure readiness for a return to school for children on September 3rd.
All we can say, at this point, is that we will continue to monitor the situation closely, remain in contact with the union to stay as up to date as possible, and keep you informed along the way.
In the meantime, I trust that you have all had a summer that was as enjoyable and restful as possible. As you may know, having been Superintendent in Saanich since 2005 I was on a one-year secondment to the BC Public School Employers Association last year, and am delighted now to be back where I belong. I look forward to connecting you as parents, students, staff members and community partners in the coming days and weeks.
Dr. Keven Elder, Superintendent of Schools (Saanich)