Thousands of students across B.C. head back to school
Published Tuesday, September 3, 2019 7:54AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 3, 2019 12:50PM PDT
Thousands of students across the province will return to class Tuesday, kicking off the 2019-20 school year.
With students returning, Vancouver police are reminding drivers that school zone speed limits are back in effect.
Officers will be doing enforcement at Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School in Vancouver Tuesday morning, kicking off their 2019 Back to School Traffic Safety Awareness campaign — which they say will focus on education and enforcement throughout the city.
Drivers are being reminded that the speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days.
TransLink increasing service
TransLink says the first week of September is the busiest of the year, and as of Tuesday passengers may notice increases in some services.
It says this is the first time increases on bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrain are happening in a single service change.
Transit users between North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver will see increased SeaBus service as of Tuesday, with sailings every 10 minutes instead of every 15 minutes during peak periods. According to TransLink that increased service will be on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
As party of the service changes, SkyTrain is getting new train cars which will also be used during peak periods. According to TransLink the adjustment should bring a five per cent capacity increase on the Expo Line and a nine per cent increase on the Millennium Line.
Bus service on several routes is also being increased. You can see the full list here.
Talks between teachers and the province on hold
For many students, their first day back at class will be a partial day for orientation for the new school year. And while it may be business as usual for students and parents, there are some ongoing issues between the province and B.C.'s teachers.
Mediated talks between the two sides were put on hold Friday, and are set to resume on Sept. 23.
In a statement on Friday, the B.C. Public School Employers' Association announced the mediator involved in the negotiations has advised the involved parties that "there are too many outstanding proposals" between them.
"This break will give the two sides time to work on their proposals. In particular, the BCTF bargaining team is still very concerned about the government’s proposals that would roll back the parts of the collective agreement that were restored by the Supreme Court of Canada," said BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring in a statement.
Negotiations between the BCTF and the province began in February of this year. At the end of June, the current contract expired, so in July, a mediator was assigned to talks by the Labour Relations Board.
First school year with mandatory immunization reporting
This school year is the first one since the province introduced regulations requiring parents to report their children's immunization status.
Parents and guardians are now required to report the vaccination status of kids between kindergarten and Grade 12.
According to the Ministry of Health, most parents are already in compliance with the new requirement. By the end of September, parents will be able to check whether their children's vaccination records are complete by visiting immunizebc.ca.
Health authorities have been reviewing records over the summer and are contacting families where there is incomplete information or children are not vaccinated.
The goal is to prevent outbreaks like measles, and be better able to respond if an outbreak occurs.
There have been 29 cases of measles in B.C so far in 2019, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Pete Cline, Ian Holliday and Alyse Kotyk