Public elementary students in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills will learn from home if strike lingers

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Published November 16, 2022 at 9:32 pm

Elementary school students within the Halton District School Board (HDSB) will be in their classrooms on Monday, then switch to remote learning the next day if a strike by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) lingers.

High school students will still have to report for in-class instruction as their schools will not be affected by a strike.

The HDSB tonight released their plans ahead of the anticipated strike by the workers that will affect schools across Ontario.

In a message to parents, the public board states:

“In the event of a strike beginning Monday, Nov. 21, HDSB elementary schools (Kindergarten – Grade 8) will be open for in-person learning for students on Monday, Nov. 21. Elementary schools will switch to remote learning (real-time, teacher-led) for all students beginning Tuesday, Nov. 22 until further notice. All students with special education needs will also switch to remote learning beginning Tuesday, Nov. 22.”

Unlike students at Halton’s Catholic school system, CUPE only represents custodial staff in the public school system.

HDSB says closing elementary schools is in the best interests of students “given the enhanced cleaning measures and seasonal snow removal services provided by our CUPE staff.” This is not an issue at the secondary level where the board is allowed to contract out the same work.

CUPE has a legal right to strike on Monday (Nov. 21) if a new collective agreement is not reached with the Provincial government.

If a strike goes beyond Monday, the HDSB says parents of elementary school aged children should also note the following:

  • Before and after school programs at schools will not be offered on remote learning days.
  • Transportation provided for elementary students by Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will not run on remote learning days.
  • The HDSB will not be accepting new community use rental requests and all existing permits will be cancelled effective Nov. 21 until further notice.
  • The International & Indigenous Language Elementary Program (IILE) is cancelled effective Nov. 25 and 26 until further notice.
  • Picket lines: CUPE members may picket at schools. The HDSB points out that students have the right to cross picket lines and if they have concerns about this, they can contact the principal or vice-principal.

Although it will be business as usual at high schools, the HDSB notes there may be some disruptions to normal operations and the cleaning of halls and classrooms. As well, non-essential and non-urgent activities such as school council meetings and school events will be postponed as long as the labour dispute lasts.

Other factors of note for public high school students

  • Transportation provided for secondary students by Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will be unaffected by the job action.
  • The HDSB will not be accepting new community use rental requests and all existing permits will be cancelled effective Nov. 21 until further notice.
  • All night school credit classes will be held remotely (real-time, teacher-led) effective Nov. 21 until further notice.
  • Students are encouraged to bring food packaging that can be reused to control the amount of garbage that is thrown away.

 

 

 

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