Recess still on in SD 70 schools

Alberni isn't joining the other Island school districts that canceled recess as a result of job action­, ADTU president Ken Zydyk said Wednesday.

Port Alberni won’t be joining the other school districts that have cancelled recess as a result of job action­, Alberni District Teacher’s Union president Ken Zydyk said Wednesday.

School districts in Cowichan and Qualicum sent notice to parents that they are cancelling the 15-minute recess and altering bus schedules accordingly to compensate.

Supervision and safety are the reasons behind the move, Qualicum superintendent Jim Ansell wrote.

The two Island communities join Kelowna, Okanagan, Vernon and Prince George, all of whom cancelled recess as well.

No recess supervision safety issues have been identified yet in School District 70, Zydyk said.

“The district has indicated that they are comfortable with the supervision levels,” he said.  “They believe that they can maintain adequate supervision levels so they aren’t looking at cancelling recess yet.”

Districts must undertake a series of steps including meeting with staff before they can cancel recess and that hasn’t happened yet, Zydyk said.

In an interview with CBC Radio, B.C. Education minister George Abbott said recesses will continue or discontinue based on the number of exempt staff that can perform the supervision.

“Some districts are feeling comfortable that they can do that, others are not,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com