Back to school as usual for some Greater Trail students

St. Michael’s Catholic school in Trail and Rossland’s alternative school set to start classes on Sept. 2

Public school students still don’t know when they are heading back to the classroom, but some students have their backpacks packed and are getting to ready to learn.

St. Michael’s Catholic School in Trail is starting its school year as usual, on Sept. 2 and principal Julia Mason says she has gotten a few phone calls from parents over the summer, some asking about registration.

“I think that (parents) are just worried about the unknown,” she said about the ongoing labour dispute between public school teachers and the provincial government.

“Lots of the phone calls that we have been getting started at the end of the school year and I think that people have always thought of our school and just want a change. Some of it is, I believe, (about the strike).”

St. Michael’s is classified, by the Ministry of Education, as a Group 1 Independent School. Teachers don’t have contracts with the government, but rather with the school itself.

“We are not affiliated with any union,” said Mason.

“Our staff signs contracts every year.”

Because of the school’s classification, the school does not strictly rely on the provincial government for funding, but rather, looks towards tuition fees, donations, fundraising, parish subsidies and bequests.

According to St. Michael’s website, the government funds 50 per cent of the “per pupil operating cost of the local school district” and there is no funding for “capital expenditures.”

The Seven Summits Centre for Learning, an alternative school in Rossland, is also heading back to the classroom next week and Operations Manager Ann Quarterman says all is business as usual at the centre.

“We’ve been working all throughout the summer and the mentors, which is what we call our teachers, are planning and setting up courses,” she said.

“We will have a full day on Sept. 2.”

Unlike the Catholic school, Seven Summits hires its mentors through a third party, the SelfDesign Learning Company.

“We partner with SelfDesign,” said Quarterman. “They are education providers and they do all the contracts with the mentors on a yearly basis.”

While SelfDesign is funded by the B.C. government, its mentors are not part of the teachers union and are unaffected by the current strike.

Registration for Seven Summits has been full for the fall since the end of the 2013/2014 school year and Quarterman says she thinks that is why the centre hasn’t received any extra phone calls from parents looking to sign their kids up.

“We have been full all summer, and I think that people know that,” she said, adding that a few spots have become available, despite full registration since June. “We do have a few spots that have opened up because our international spots didn’t fill up. Now we have three spots left.”

Public school teachers with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation have been on strike and locked out since mid-June and it is unknown if teachers will be back in the classroom for a September start.

Teachers have returned to the picket linesliz this week, the week before school is supposed to start, in hopes of pressuring the government into talks to end the strike.

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Kootenay employers set to meet job seekers at today’s Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies are on hand today, Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Do-it-yourself requires sophisticated tools

“I am all for working on your own vehicle if you relish the challenge …” Nutini writes

Kootenay employers set to meet job seekers at today’s Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies are on hand today, Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Selkirk College nursing students visit Honduran migrants

Students were overwhelmed by migrants’ hope in the face of poverty and displacement

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read