Vernon School Superintendent Joe Rogers says the school district has had a lot of interest as it works to add teachers for the coming school year.
Applications have been coming in from the coast and the north.
“We’re just finishing up little bits that have been going over the summer. Point 2’s or point 4’s, but all of our regular classrooms will have teachers in place for September.”
Rogers says the district is hiring 50 teachers for 38 full time equivalent positions.
It’s a bit complex.
“For example, at an elementary school someone’s working point 8 and the teacher only wants to work point 8 so there’s a point 2 left over. The teacher only wants to work Monday to Thursday and there’s a point 2 left over there’s a small job that’s available and those are the one’s were filling right now.”
Some of those teachers were already hired in the spring when the district has received funding from the province.
Some teachers from last year`s on-call list may also be moved up.
Planning for a new school year is always a challenge.
This year, particularly so, since the Supreme Court earlier this year ruled against the former Liberal government`s cuts in class size and composition language.
The local teacher`s association predicts chaos over the need for special needs teachers.
But Superintendent Joe Rogers thinks the District has a handle on it.
“We’ve been able to hire a number of new ones that will be placed in schools. We also in the past have had a couple of extra ones at the board office
that are on an itinerant basis to go around and do extra support. We still haven’t filled those ones yet because we want to make sure the school ones are filled first.”
He says schools across the province are short special needs teachers.
The Vernon Teacher’s Association says the district wouldn’t deal with them all summer to ensure the right number of special needs teachers are available.
Superintendent Rogers says they’ve gone back to the 1999 – 2000 language as ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada.
“If the arbitration says that we should be doing it a different way we’re happy to go back to the government and ask for more funding to be able to do that. We’re waiting to see what the arbitration says so that we can make sure that we have a clear definition of what we need to do.”
No date for arbitration is set for that.
Rogers says they’re only funded for the 1999 – 2000 levels, although he admits that 17 years later, a lot of different kids have different designations.