Whistler parents improvise as school openings delayed 

More picketing expected Tuesday as labour dispute continues

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Parents in the Sea to Sky school district are finding their own way to get their kids into the classroom in the face of the ongoing labour dispute between the BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public School Employers Association.

In the case of Danielle Kristmanson, that meant hiring a recent education grad as a tutor for her daughter and some of her peers.

"We started out thinking maybe we'd rummage up five or six kids, and before you know it we had to cut it off at nine," Kristmanson said.

"So I'm going to have nine kids sitting around my dining room table."

The makeshift classroom will be based on the Grade 8 curriculum and will run for three hours every school day.

Kristmanson said she isn't the only parent looking for alternatives as the teacher strike continues.

"Everyone I know is now sort of thinking about what they can do to just supplement," she said.

With no resolution in the ongoing dispute, schools in the Sea to Sky school district will remain closed for the immediate future.

"It is anticipated that there will be further picketing at all of our school sites on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and likely through this upcoming week," superintendent Lisa McCullough said in a letter to parents.

"Our administrative teams will be at each school in the event that you need to reach them. However, we will not have sufficient supervision to have our students attending school. Our school bus transportation will also not be operating."

In his own letter to parents, Whistler Secondary School principal Nolan Cox encouraged parents to follow through with back-to-school habits and routines, including reading, writing and practicing math.

Some resources provided by Cox include: www.coolmath4kids.com for math practice, www.ca.ixl.com for grade specific math lessons, www.phet.colorado.edu for interactive science simulations and www.cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com for Web 2.0 tools for mapping, graphing, and writing.

Cox also encouraged writing for real purposes: (www.kidblog.org/home, www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters, www.wikispaces.com) and visits to the local library (www.whistlerlibrary.ca).

For more ideas go to http://sd48whistlersecondary.org/educational-websites, which will be updated regularly.

For continued updates on the strike situation check the school district website at www.sd48seatosky.org, the BCTF website at www.bctf.ca and the BCPSEA website at www.bcpsea.bc.ca.

For more on this story, pick up Thursday's edition of Pique.



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