Shuswap schools cancel recess due to job action

Back to school: District #83 decides to dismiss students 15 minutes earlier than usual.

Tunnel vision: Two-year-old Max Loughran looks through side windows in the play tunnel while enjoying the last warm days of summer at Finlayson Park over the weekend.

Schools in the Shuswap will be sending students home 15 minutes earlier as job action by teachers means the cancellation of recess for elementary and middle school students.

As part of the job action, the North-Okanagan-Shuswap Teacher’s Association, along with their counterparts around the province, began the first phase of their job action to coincide with the start of the school year. This includes the withdrawal of administrative services and teacher supervision on playgrounds outside regular instructional time.

“With respect to the latter, and to ensure student safety, the 15-minute recess breaks in each elementary and middle school will be eliminated for the duration of the job action,” says Dave Witt, superintendent of schools for School District #83.

“Accordingly students in these schools will be excused 15 minutes earlier than usual.”

Witt says bus schedules throughout the school district will also be adjusted and parents should expect to pick up their children, either at the school or at their usual bus stop, 15 minutes earlier. Morning bus pick-up times will remain the same, as will the secondary school timetable.

Parents can be assured there will be before- and after-school supervision by administrators in schools, along with district-based administration, management and other school staff to ensure student safety.

As part of the first phase of job action, the B.C. Teacher’s Federation has committed to continue teaching and will fulfill all classroom duties, including communicating with parents. Teachers will not, however, participate in meetings with parents outside of the usual instructional time, prepare or distribute report cards, attend staff meetings unless they are directly related to an emergency, distribute newsletters to students or provide any grades or student assessments to administration except marks required for graduation. There are also other administrative services that have been withdrawn, which are detailed in a letter circulated to parents on the first day of school.


Extra-curricular activities will continue as long as the teacher chooses to volunteer to sponsor the activity.



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