International classes upset striking teachers

Administration staff and import students crossing picket line at Lake Trail School

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has opened its doors to international students in the Comox Valley School District, and that’s not sitting well with the striking teachers.

Administrative staff members are providing a program for the 160 students, who have been asked to cross a picket line during the ongoing teachers’ strike.

“That’s the biggest problem we have,” Comox District Teachers’ Association president Nick Moore said. “We’re disappointed and frustrated that students and parents are being put in a position to decide whether or not to cross a picket line.”

The international program brings in about $2 million to SD 71, Moore added.

“We rely on that to help support all the students in the Comox Valley. The reason why we have to do that is because government has under-funded education, and our district has had to find a way to make up that funding. So the more international students they have, the better it is for everybody. But it’s sad, because it’s basically a private school running in a public system.”

Superintendent Sherry Elwood says the district, as agreed with the CDTA, had hired teachers to offer the programs in summer. By mid-July, however, principals and senior staff filled the positions because she said the association had changed its mind.

As for asking students to cross picket lines, Elwood said the district has permission from international parents for students to attend at Lake Trail.

“We have legal contracts with these families that we felt we must honour,” Elwood said. “These students are not receiving course credit and we are not offering courses to international students. We are simply supporting them with transition issues and familiarizing them with the routines of going to school in a western public school.”

Moore notes other B.C. school districts have arranged alternate locations at recreation centres or elsewhere to accommodate international students during the job action.

Elwood said the CDTA was aware the district had looked for alternate settings but could not find a suitable space in the Valley.

The CDTA hosts a community education forum from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Filberg Centre. A cross-section of teachers will be on hand to discuss issues and answer questions. Anyone interested in public education is encouraged to attend.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Nineteen people arrested, charges expected in Courtenay house raid

Investigators are continuing to comb through evidence seized

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Concerned citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read