No school on Wednesday in Thunder Bay


Parents of kids who attend Lakehead Public Schools elementary schools may be scrambling Wednesday to find babysitters.
The Thunder Bay public board announced Sunday it had received the required 72 hours notice from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) of its plan to stage a one-day strike on Wednesday.
The announcement, which was not unexpected, comes three days after the board passed a resolution to close its 25 elementary schools in the event of a strike for safety reasons.
“It is unfortunate that we have had to move to the extreme measure of closing all elementary schools” LPS director Cathi Siemieniuk said Sunday in a news release.
“The safety and security of our students were the deciding factors in this particular situation.”
School buses will not pick up elementary students on Wednesday.
The board’s four high schools are to remain open, but grades 7 and 8 classes at Churchill elementary, which are located in Sir Winston Churchill and Vocational Institute, will be cancelled Wednesday.
The board employs about 625 elementary teachers and occasional teachers.
Siemieniuk, who thanked parents in advance for their “patience and understanding,” advised that in addition to the one-day strikes, ETFO has initiated job sanctions that may include cancellation of field trips, play days and supervised outings.
On Tuesday, a similar one-day strike by ETFO will close Keewatin-Patricia District School Board schools.
ETFO, which represents 76,000 teachers, is in a legal strike position as of today.
The union wants the province to repeal Bill 115, which takes away teachers’ right to strike, “and give (ETFO) locals the latitude to have concrete and respectful discussions with all options on the table in order to reach collective agreements.”