Students in the Comox Valley will be following a different time-table next year, most notably an earlier dismissal on Fridays.
The move will save the school district roughly $1.6 million.
“For elementary school we’re looking at a 40 to 60 minute earlier dismissal on a Friday and for secondary school an hour and a half to perhaps a 2 hour earlier dismissal” Comox Valley School Board Chair Tom Weber told CHEK News.
The change in schedule and savings result from the district not having to back-fill teachers during their preparation time.
“Currently in a teacher’s schedule they have so many minutes or so much time per day for prep time. While they are doing that their work is ostensibly covered by someone else so it’s that backfill that will no longer be required
The chair says students will not lose any class time in the shuffle as teachers preparation time moves to Fridays. However the move does mean upwards of twenty teachers will lose their jobs.
“Well you know this is going to be a devastating loss of teachers in the Comox Valley. Teachers that are left over are going to have to do more work to teach the kids that are there and in the end is going to hurt students because we are going to have even less time to work with students” said Nick Moore, President of the Comox District Teachers Association.
The $1.6 million savings still do not cover the $2.5 million deficit going into next school year and that is what has parents like Brooke Finlayson worried.
“And then two years down the road it totals $6.5 million. I can’t even imagine what will be left to cut in the next two years” said Finlayson.
“Who is to blame? Absolutely 100% the provincial government is not funding public education to the levels that are needed for us to meet the needs of the students we are currently teaching” added Moore.