Back to school uncertain

What to do? Parents getting creative on how to keep their children busy during teacher job action

Teachers like Rick Williams were taking job action back in May. Teachers went on strike in late June and the strike could continue well after Sept. 2 — the scheduled start of the school year.

Parents in the Saanich School District who would normally be preparing for the first week of school are instead getting creative with ideas on how to keep their children engaged during teacher job action.

Alice Bacon and John Carswell, who have a son entering Grade 6 at Bayside Middle School, have started to think about ways they can ensure their child is doing something to keep his mind engaged.

“I think we are in a somewhat unique position because we are both self employed so we have a slightly flexible schedule but it is still difficult to plan for what you don’t know,” Bacon explained of the uncertainty on when school may start again.

“Right now we’re going on the assumption that they’re not going back on Tuesday but that could change anytime so you just don’t know.”

Bacon said even things like buying school supplies have been put on hold for now.

“It is tough because we want to return to a sense of routine and schedule. It’s essential for parents and kids to have that stability. Normally this final week of August is spent getting back into the routine and it’s really hard, especially for a child who is transitioning to a new school, to do that if you’re faced with such uncertainty.”

Bacon said the most vital thing her and her family are doing in the face of an uncertain back-to-school date is coming together with other parents and children around the same age.

“One of the things that we’ve been working on is getting together with another group of parents with kids who are the same age,” explained Bacon.

“We will take turns so that we can all do something with the kids so we have an option besides just daycare. We’ve planned things like outings to the Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan, trips to the Martime Museum, doing art classes.

“The best thing that people can take away from this is try and turn back to a sense of community. All we can do is use the resources we have at our disposal,” Bacon continued. “We can work together and expose them to things that have some value and to make the most of our friendships and community.”

Bacon said many parents are echoing a sense of disbelief that the job action has gone on as long as it has.

“I really just think it’s extraordinary things have gone on as long as they have. We are lucky in our circumstance that we are slightly flexible with our work schedules. I can’t imagine what people who have inflexible work schedules will do. At this point, no matter what side they’re on, I think everyone is just hoping for a negotiated settlement.”

For the latest information on back-to-school in the Saanich School District visit sd63.bc.ca or your school’s website.

 

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com