Barely any students were dropped off at local schools Monday morning, the first day of the teachers' strike.
"After checking with assistant superintendents it appears there's very few, if any, students that are being dropped off at schools. It's relatively quiet," said Doug Strachan, Surrey school district spokesperson, on Monday morning.
The district issued a press release Friday, saying there had been confusion about whether schools would be open during the strike.
The press release said classes would be cancelled during the strike and it would not be possible for school administrators, "one to two per elementary, three to four per secondary," to provide appropriate supervision for the more than 70,000 students in the district.
"Even if just a fraction of the total number of students were to attend, their safety and well-being may be seriously compromised," the press release said.
Strachan said if students are dropped off at schools during the strike, staff will likely try to contact the family to pick up the child.
"If that wasn't successful, they would probably be sitting in the office with a book or something," Strachan said.
But overall, the district is happy to see that nearly all parents made arrangements for their children during the strike.
"We appreciate that parents have, it appears, successfully made alternate arrangements for the care of their children. We appreciate that it's a challenging situation," Strachan said.
"Clearly, the parents see that it's not the best situation to have kids at schools where we can't be certain of what we do to supervise. It also wouldn't be a fun time for students because we're not able to provide a lot of activities."
Strachan extended the district's thanks to the City of Surrey, Alexandra Neighbourhood House and other partners for putting together day camps during the strike. For a list of day camps and other activities, visit sd36.bc.ca.
Also contributing to additional daytime activities for kids is the Clova movie theatre, which added extra daytime screenings of The Lorax on Monday and Tuesday at 10: 30 a.m., 1: 30 and 4 p.m.
While local schools were nearly empty Monday, some childcare facilities were experiencing a downturn as well.
Kidz Rock Childcare, which has three locations, combined to one location for the strike. Out of 80 expected children, only 27 turned out on Monday, said Jean McNabb with Kidz Rock.
Meanwhile, another childcare facility was busy. Sandra Miklausic with Evergreen Child Care Centre in White Rock said the day care's before and after school care children are set to come for full days during the teachers' strike.
On Monday, there were 15 children staying for a longer time than usual, and the facility expected 20 children, who are regularly just before and after school kids, to come for a full day Tuesday.
"We had to rearrange our shifts to be able to be here all day for them," Miklausic said.
"The kids are loving it, but the parents are not happy."
Miklausic said the strike is costing parents more money in child care, but a lot of them are frustrated with the timing as well.
"As soon as we mention something about the strike, they say, 'Don't get me started.' There is only seven or eight days of actual education this month now, because of spring break coming, too. They go back to school on Thursday and Friday and then it's spring break. And they have to pay extra to be here all day," Miklausic said.
"There's a lot of angry parents."
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