Cowichan students back in school Monday if vote is ‘yes’

Students will go back to Cowichan Valley public schools for a short day Monday, Sept. 22, if teachers vote to ratify their tentative contract.

That’s the news from Joe Rhodes, superintendent of schools, who, like everybody else, is getting ready to go flat out Friday if the light is green.

“We’re not going to put anything on the school district website until we know it’s been ratified. But as soon as we hear if it has, then we’ve got a message ready to go right away,” he said Thursday.

“Subject to ratification, then tomorrow will be a prep day for teachers. Then, the intent is to go with a two-hour early-dismissal Monday and with a full-on Tuesday.”

School buses are ready. There had been a bit of concern earlier that they might not all be inspected in time but that’s been ironed out, according to Rhodes.

“Tomorrow, subject to no pickets, the drivers will be in and do their test runs on the routes. We’ve got a couple of buses that need a little bit of repair so the mechanics will be in. And if necessary, we’ll keep them in on the weekend. The buses will be up and running.”

The start-up will have its rough spots but Rhodes is confident everything will get going.

“There are going to be bumps, there’s lots of stuff that still needs to be done but we’re as ready as we can be. At this stage it’s a hope that everything will roll out. Nothing will be sure till this evening, though,” he said.