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No summer school in New West

There will be no summer school in New Westminster this year.

With no resolution to the teachers strike in sight, the New Westminster school district made the decision following a Labour Relations Board (LRB) ruling that would have dramatically reduced the number of students.

"We certainly see the value of summer school, but we're also cognizant of the bigger picture. We spent considerable time looking at [the labour situation] and made the decision this morning," said New Westminster secretary treasurer/assistant superintendent Al Balanuik.

Normally New Westminster has upward of 800 students taking Grade 8 to 12 courses, said Balanuik.

The teachers strike had the district planning on having summer school at New Westminster secondary for about 300 students who needed to retake courses they failed. Last week the district postponed the start of summer school to July 7 in the hope everything would be resolved.

But last Friday, the LRB ruled only those students who couldn't have their courses fit into next year's timetables were essential service.

"You're probably looking in the low double digits. In order to satisfy the criteria we were looking at very few students," Balanuik said.

He added district staff were discussing finding other ways to help the students pursue their studies, not just this summer but for the upcoming school year.

The LRB also determined districts had to exhaust using all of its administrators to teach classes before calling any teachers in off the picket line.

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