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Richmond cancels summer school

Richmond School District has cancelled summer school courses and programs due to the teachers' labour dispute, superintendent Monica Pamer announced Thursday.

In a message posted on the district's website, Pamer said cancelled courses include Continuing Education’s academic full credit, academic remedial, enrichment, Richmond Virtual School and Distributed Learning, and summer camps for elementary students.

"We realize this is disappointing news for the many students who were planning to enrol in these programs. Unfortunately our staff who deliver these cannot participate if there are picket lines at our school sites."

A labour dispute between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association also ended school early for students—and there appears to be no end in sight. A B.C. Supreme Court justice concluded this week that teachers and government are too far apart on wages and working conditions for mediation to be effective.

Pamer said the district shares parents' disappointment, and said she hopes a negotiated settlement will be reached "as soon as possible."

The Labour Relations Board has ruled that summer school programs are essential only for students in grades 10 to 12 who failed a course during the previous year and can't take the course next year.

Pamer said no Richmond students face that dilemma.

"Our management staff has contacted the small number of students needing a course credit to graduate to ensure they are aware of other options available to them to give them the best possible chance for success."

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