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Saanich school district cancels recess in response to teachers' strike

If teachers aren't supervising recess, then for some BC schools, including those in the Saanich School District, there won't be anymore recess.

In response to Stage 1 of the BC Teachers' Federation strike which began this week and saw break supervision, among a list of other, primarily administrative, duties revoked, trustees elected to cancel recess beginning Wednesday (April 30).

The office of superintendent Nancy MacDonald issued a statement rationalizing the decision based on administration’s concern for student safety and the board's wish to to see “a level of pressure placed on all parties, not just those employees undertaking supervision.”

The cancellation equates to a school day shortened by 15 minutes for students, with all buses running 15 minutes earlier.

Saanich was one of 10 districts to announce the cancellation of recess on Wednesday, in a move BCTF president Jim Iker called “unnecessary and inappropriate.”

“The vast majority of school districts across B.C. have not cancelled recess and those that have should reconsider,” said Iker in a statement. “Principals, vice-principals, and excluded staff are more than capable of supervising the playground for 15 minutes each day.”

In Victoria, where CUPE employees supervise breaks, there will be no changes outside abstaining from a number of administrative duties, excluding the writing of report cards.

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