Kids programs at community school in limbo if strike continues 

Program directors will decide Friday whether activities based at the schools will go ahead next week if the teacher’s strike continues.

Roger Weetman, manager of Program Services and Community Liaison for the RMOW said the community areas of the school were not being properly cleaned during the strike, as CUPE workers won’t cross the picket lines.

This week Kids on the Go, for example, is being held at Base II thanks to donated space by Whistler-Blackcomb.

Next week, if teachers stay out, the program will be held at the Spruce Grove Field house. A maximum of 45 kids can be accommodated.

It’s uncertain what will happen to activities like the Whistler Gymnastics Club, though Tami Ross, program director, said the club feels it’s important for the athletes to continue training.

Parents are also looking around for alternative education as the strike continues. Kumon Math (1-604-896-1727) will increase programs if parents need it, said head teacher Glenda Derry.

Spring Creek Elementary PAC chair Jenny Roote said parents at her school are now focusing on educating their kids as the strike drags on.

"We have decided that our focus for this coming week will be on home schooling issues," she said.

Other parents are seeking tutors. Educational therapist Janet Corvino said the parents of her students reacted immediately to news of the strike last week.

"By 8:40 in the morning my answering machine at work was brimming with messages," she said.

Most of Corvino’s students are those hardest hit by government cutbacks.

"Years ago they would have had the help in the schools," she said. "It has really changed under this government."

Corvino and the parents she helps fully support the teacher’s actions.

"These parents have definitely felt all the special education cuts. They have directly affected them so much so that the students need private educational therapy sessions. They need a specialist and they have to go outside the school to get those services."

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