Grade 3 students from Queen Elizabeth annex at 4275 Crown St., are exhibiting early signs of business and philanthropic acumen.
The class of 22 raised roughly $500 over two weeks by holding several markets before and after school to sell wares ranging from food and home-made jewelry to scarves and cards.
The cash is earmarked for ChildRun—the largest family run in Vancouver, which raises money for childhood cancer research and treatment areas at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Students were inspired to get involved after a visit to the school by event leaders and the Sunny Bear mascot. This year’s 27th annual run takes place June 3. Participants, who include runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, sign up for a five-kilometre route through Queen Elizabeth Park or the Thrifty Foods one-kilometre Fun Run, followed by a carnival. Organizers hope to raise $1 million—to date they’ve raised close to $300,000.
The Vancouver School Board announced last week it’s laying off 227 teachers from its workforce of 3,939.
The layoffs are effective June 30, but the school district is “hopeful” it will be able to rehire many of these teachers. Over the past two years, the VSB has rehired about 80 per cent of teachers who received layoff notices. A joint VSB and Vancouver Teachers’ Federation committee makes decisions on layoffs.
The layoffs are not a direct result of budget cuts, but are part of an annual process that results from declining enrolment, returns from full and partial leaves of absence, fewer retirements than projected, teachers on recall returning to positions and the increasing number of teachers converting from temporary status to continuing status, according to the May 4 press release.
The school district also noted in the release that it will be hiring an additional 19 teachers due to funding from the B.C. government’s Learning Improvement Fund.
Chris Harris, president of the Vancouver Elementary Teachers’ Association, told the Courier the association hoped there wouldn’t be layoffs this year, and it is disappointed 227 teachers are getting notices.
“We have seen a steady decline and an erosion of services to students over the last decade. While many will get rehired, there are no guarantees, and teachers who receive layoff notices look at all their options in finding alternate employment,” he said in an email. “Vancouver desperately needs all their current teachers, plus more. Ironically, the board is using Bill 22 to reduce its teaching staff by 19 full-time teaching positions and then using $1.5 million of the Learning Improvement Fund to put them right back. We need to stop the ‘shell’ games and put predictable, adequate, and sustainable funding into school district operating budgets.”
Former COPE trustee Jane Bouey is one of eight candidates from the 2011 civic election who didn’t file financial disclosure papers by the March 19 deadline.
Bouey told me COPE candidates thought they’d completed all the necessary forms. When it was discovered they hadn’t, she was in Edmonton with her dying sister. She wasn’t able to complete, sign, notarize, and send the forms in the allotted time.
Candidates who missed the deadline were allowed to file late, by April 18, if they paid a $500 fine. Candidates who failed to file by that date and who failed to pay the penalty are disqualified from being nominated or elected in the next general election. Bouey, however, paid the fine when she returned to Vancouver March 26, although she’s not sure whether she’ll run for office again.