Working Together and Focussed on Safety to Keep Students Learning

Posted On Wednesday March 25, 2020

Efforts by administrators, teachers and support staff throughout School District No. 73 are collectively focussed on keeping students and staff safe as many staff return from spring break to connect students to their learning during a world-wide health crisis.
“I am grateful for the presidents of the Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association (KTTA) and the Canadian Union of Provincial Employees (CUPE) 3500, whose calm leadership and commitment to their civic duty has been a tremendous asset to our district as we plan for continuity of learning during this critical time,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent, School District No. 73.

While the majority of BC’s school districts had an additional week to implement the essential school and continuity of learning plans mandated by Minister of Education Rob Fleming on March 17, SD73 administrators have been working non-stop on a plan for teachers and staff who will assist the district’s nearly 15,000 students continue their learning from a distance.

“The KTTA is working jointly with the District and CUPE to ensure that educational opportunities are presented to students in a meaningful way,” said Laurel Macpherson, President of the KTTA. “Challenges come up on a daily basis but with the cooperation of all employee groups, we feel confident that we can find solutions and navigate this situation until the delivery of education can once again return to normal.”

Teachers will be in touch with their students to reconnect them to their learning by Monday, March 30, as they play a vital role in maintaining the services of government during this pandemic.   
Now and in the coming weeks the health and safety of our members, our students, and our communities are of the utmost importance,” said Corey Grabner, President, CUPE 3500. “I want to thank all employees of School District 73 for working so hard to keep everyone safe.  Together, one day at a time we will get through this.”  
Besides supporting students as certified education assistants, library assistants, and clerical staff, SD73’s 850 support workers include bus drivers, grounds personnel, red-sealed tradespersons, custodians, clerks, IT and communication workers, each with a role in ensuring the continuity of learning for students and safety for the community.

SD73 is committed to regular communication with families and students, and with staff in the district. Sidow says the situation is unprecedented and asks for the community’s patience as the district moves to distance learning for students. Schools remain closed to the public as school staff makes plans to address the learning needs of students over the next several months.

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