Thursday September 18, 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As many of you know a tentative agreement has been reached between the BCTF and the government. Our local Board of Education has already ratified the agreement. Today the tentative agreement is going through the ratification process as BCTF members across the province will be voting on it. If the deal is ratified we anticipate that teachers will be able to come back into school on Friday and we will start the school year on Monday September 22nd.
If the deal is ratified, Monday September 22nd will be our first day of school. We will follow the established routines that we have for our 'normal' opening days which means it will be a shortened day. The purpose of this shortened day is to allow us to see our students, get an accurate idea of our student enrolment and prepare accordingly. The schedule for our Opening Day will be as follows:
8:58 am All students (Gr. 8-12) will go to their Homerooms. Homeroom Lists will be posted throughout the school and administrators will be on hand to help students find their location.
10:00 am Gr. 9-12 students will be dismissed – busses will arrive early for pick-up
10:15 am Grade 8 students will be dismissed from their Homeroom and make their way to the theatre.
10:25 am Grade 8 Welcome by school administrators in the theatre.
10:35 am Grade 8 students will go through a "Mini-Timetable" walk through.
11:15 am Gr. 8 students will be dismissed – busses will arrive early for pick-up
Open House & Self-Guided Tours
From 6:00pm -7:15pm school administrators will be hosting an Open House and students will be able to bring their parents to Brooks for self-guided tours of our wonderful facility. This will be a very good opportunity for our Grade 8 students and any new students to Brooks to get more familiar with our building.
First Week, School Organization, Schedules and Patience
If the deal is ratified we are all looking forward to getting back to work and seeing our students. As you are aware, the school year ended abruptly last year and obviously our start up has been delayed. In some cases, teachers will only be finding out their teaching assignment for the year in the next day or two. As a result, much of the work that teachers and our office staff normally do in the summer has not been completed. Normally in June and over the summer our school counsellors review student timetables, correct timetable errors, fill in missing classes, and ensure that each student's program is ready to provide a smooth start to the school year. While some of this has been done by our school administrators, we know that there will be students who initially receive schedules that are incomplete or in need of changes. We will work quickly to correct these timetable issues in a priority sequence. While awaiting timetable changes students are expected to follow their schedule as provided. We will be working hard with everyone to get up to speed as quickly as we can. We appreciate your understanding and your patience throughout this process.
Many of our students are bussed to and from school each day. If students applied for a bus pass at the end of last school year they should be receiving them very soon. If they have yet to apply for a bus pass they will have that opportunity during the first few weeks of school. All of the school bus routes and transportation-related information has been posted to our school district website and can be found at: http://www.sd47.bc.ca/about/Pages/bussing.aspx
In an effort to improve communication between our wider school community (students, parents/guardians, community members, etc.) our school website has undergone some changes over the summer. It can be found at: www.sd47.bc.ca/school/brooks We encourage you to check the site often for any school-related information you may be looking for. It will be going through constant updates as we move along through the school year. There is a feature at the bottom of our website's homepage that allows anyone with an email address to sign up to receive newsletters and information via email. The user is in complete control and can subscribe and unsubscribe at any time. Please check it out and pass this information along. We also have started a school Twitter account and will be tweeting school information throughout the year. Please give us a follow @sd47_brooks We are always looking for ways that we can better communicate with our parents and guardians. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact Mr. Burt.
Provincial Exams / Instructional Time
If the deal is ratified, we will continue to receive information from the Ministry of Education about school calendar adjustments. Semesters will need to be balanced and we anticipate that provincial exam dates may also be altered. We will pass along that information when we get it.
Again, if the deal is ratified today undoubtedly, students and parents will have more questions and we will work hard to get the answers and communicate them as quickly as possible. Our main focus will be to get school up and running and back to normal as quickly as possible. This will take a huge effort on the part of all our staff and we know our students will be understanding and patient throughout the process. We are all eagerly anticipating a building full of life and enthusiasm on Monday morning. Fingers crossed.