School District 20 – Grad plans still in place

Graduation ceremonies at Greater Trail’s secondary schools are still expected to pass in the face of the B.C. Teachers Federation ruling

Graduation ceremonies at Greater Trail’s two secondary schools are still expected to pass in the face of a recent B.C. Teachers Federation ruling asking teachers to refrain from volunteer activities.

For nearly 200 Grade 12 students preparing to graduate from J.L Crowe and Rossland secondary schools, the current school term has been fraught with uncertainty, with teacher job action now targeting volunteer activities such as school sports and graduation ceremonies.

But the system won’t fail its students.

“It is business as usual,” said Rossland Secondary School principal Terry McDonnell about the prospect of graduation ceremonies taking place.

McDonnell anticipated the 43 Grade 12 students at RSS will be driving down Columbia Avenue on June 8, taking their graduation photos in front of the school and then promenading through to the grand march later that day.

He said there hasn’t been any contact with the powers that be in the building otherwise regarding graduation ceremonies, so the ceremony will go ahead.

Most of the planning for graduation began last September — largely done by McDonnell and his vice principal — with bursaries, scholarships, caps and gowns and other pieces of graduation already being nailed down. During the last week of May the students become more involved.

At J.L. Crowe in Trail principal David DeRosa will be talking to department heads on the particulars surrounding graduation, but he was confident it would happen June 15 for the school’s 153 grads.

He was quick to downplay the teachers’ job action dampening the excitement of Grade 12 graduation. Most of the teachers have been a big part of the lives of the students for the last five years, so they will want to see them through this last portion, he said.

“It’s the best part about being a teacher, when you get to see (students) walk across that stage. And to be a part of it, literally, it is one of the biggest rewarding things you can do as a teacher,” DeRosa said. “The majority of our teachers are there on grad night because they want to be part of that, not because they have to.”

He said the BCTF job action has created a difficult situation for the Greater Trail teachers, but he was confident it would all be sorted out for graduation.

“Most teachers coach and do these extra curricular things because they want to, not because any principal has ever said they should. They don’t get paid to do it, and they never asked to,” he noted.

Despite the vote in favour of curtailment of volunteer activities, the BCTF was supportive of the teams and activities still underway receiving teacher’s help.

“And, to a certain extent, that same wording could be applied to the things we have done with grad, where some of those things have been well underway since February,” DeRosa said.

The two-day graduation will still include the graduation ceremony and convocation on Friday, followed by photos in Gyro Park (in their graduation finery), and the Memory Walk at Cominco Arena followed by the prom dinner and dance.

However, teachers’ job action is affecting some school sports, with parents stepping in to coach teams in some cases.

Just Posted

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Trail workshop offers path forward for affordable/supportive housing

Columbia Basin Trust, BC Housing and the CMHC all spoke during the Tuesday morning session

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read