School district, teachers wait for labour board ruling
The fate of an International Baccalaureate (IB) program at a Kamloops high school should be more clear by the end of the week, according to the head of the local school district.
The program at NorKam secondary was slated to begin next fall, but has been delayed because of Kamloops-Thompson Teachers’ Association (KTTA) objections to having teachers receive IB training.
The issue went to the Labour Relations Board earlier this month.
According to Kamloops-Thompson school district superintendent Terry Sullivan, the LRB hearing into the matter has now wrapped up and a decision is expected soon.
“They said they’d have a decision by the end of this week,” he said.
The school district maintains the KTTA’s position is motivated by the ongoing job-action by B.C.’s public-school teachers.
Sullivan said he’s not sure how the board will rule.
“It depends on how they look at it,” he said.
“If they look at it from a narrow labour-relations perspective, no, I’m not [confident].
“But, if they look at it from the broader perspective of the job action harming students, then I am.
“It’s the type of thing that could go either way.”
KTTA president Jason Karpuk has said the association’s position is based on the fact there is not enough money in the district to make funding an IB program a priority.
Sullivan said NorKam’s IB program would be the first such curriculum in B.C.’s Interior.
IB curriculums are offered at schools around the world, including 300 in Canada.
The program is governed by a Swiss-based organization and is widely regarded as one of the most respected preparatory curriculums for students prior to university studies.