Care programs forced out of 2 Victoria schools as B.C. implements court decision
An empty classroom is seen in this undated CTV file photo.
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, May 1, 2017 6:53PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 3, 2017 12:10PM PDT
Two out-of-school care programs are being forced out of Victoria schools as the district shuffles resources in response to a Supreme Court decision about class size and composition.
The Greater Victoria School District said Monday that after the court’s March decision, officials conducted a detailed review of space across its 47 schools to figure out where and how it could add 84 more classrooms to elementary and middle schools for the upcoming school year.
To make room for more classes made up of fewer students, 12 portables will be built or shifted to a number of schools, including Willows and Quadra.
District staff say that means two out-of-school childcare providers will have to find a new space to operate out of.
The Burnside Community Centre’s before and after-school care program at Tillicum Elementary needs to give up its current spot in the school by September, and so does Montessori’s preschool program at Vic West Elementary.
District officials say with only months to go until the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the timing of the announcement is unfortunate.
“We reached out to them in February to put them on notice that we’re looking at all of our sites for this very reason,” said Greater Victoria School District spokesman Mark Walsh. “Given the fact that the agreement didn’t happen until March, it explains the timing, which is an explanation but I certainly do apologize for the brevity of time available for planning.”
The decision will affect some 50 students between the two programs, and care providers say it’s a frustrating and concerning situation with no immediate solution.
The district says it wants to work with both programs to find alternatives.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last year that a B.C.-imposed law limiting teachers’ ability to negotiate class size was unconstitutional, ending a 15-year-long legal battle between teachers and the province.