School sports will continue as normal if teacher strikes occur

first_img Meg Wochnick Columbian staff writer Share: By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer Published: August 24, 2018, 4:36pm @MegWochnick Subscribe Today If school’s closed, sports will go on.That’s the message from school leaders across Clark County as a number of teachers’ strikes loom for many Southwest Washington districts.Officials at the area’s largest districts — Evergreen, Vancouver and Battle Ground public schools — say high school varsity and sub-varsity athletics, and middle school sports won’t be affected if schools are closed because of teachers strikes. That includes all practices and home and away contests.“It’s going on as usual,” Vancouver Public Schools athletic director Albert Alcantar said Friday.A handful of high school golf matches kick off the fall sports season next week in addition to season-opening football games Friday, Aug. 31. [email protected] Thursday, Evergreen Education Association, which represents 1,800 certified staff, became the latest to vote for a work stoppage should a contract agreement not be reached before the first day of school for Evergreen Public Schools on Tuesday.One day after Vancouver Public Schools released a letter to families that included how athletics will continue as scheduled, Evergreen Public Schools on Friday released a statement that read, in part, high school and middle school sports “will continue with scheduled practices and games/matches/meets as much as possible.”All coaching contracts are separate from the unionized teacher contracts, said Cale Piland, athletic director for Evergreen Public Schools, which can allow for athletics to be uninterrupted.However, since many teachers also double as coaches and striking teachers cannot use school facilities during school hours, practices will continue to be held at the same time they would if school were in session, Alcantar said. Share: GOcenter_img Receive latest stories and local news in your email: (360) 735-4521 Buy this Photo Heritage players run conditioning drills during a practice at Heritage High School on Thursday night, Aug. 16, 2018. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) School sports will continue as normal if teacher strikes occur Officials say practices, games won’t be impacted By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. The Columbian is becoming a rare example of a news organization with local, family ownership. Subscribe today to support local journalism and help us to build a stronger community. At Prairie, part of the Battle Ground school district, four head coaches of fall sports are also teachers.But that did not end up being an issue.“At this point I’m remaining optimistic, trying not to get too far into the future and hope the best in the next week,” Prairie athletic director Jason Castro said.The pending strikes stem from teacher unions and school districts continuing to negotiate new salaries because of the McCleary decision, a Supreme Court case that determined Washington was failing to fully fund basic education.Two area districts — La Center and Woodland — have reached deals with its teachers.Private schools aren’t impacted since they’re not part of the public education system; therefore not under the same regulations.Staff writer Andy Buhler contributed to this report. In other words, no practices during normal school hours.Expect business as usual for other area schools, too, including Ridgefield, Hockinson and Washougal, school district officials there said.Teachers in those districts have voted to strike if new deals aren’t made by the first day of school. Camas votes Monday.Hockinson athletic director Josh Johnson began to craft contingency plans in case any of the school’s coaches who also teach decided to step away from their teams during the strike.“We were worried,” Johnson said. “It’s always kind of hit and miss as to what the unions are going to do. In some states they take a pretty hard line … I’ve talked to my coaches, I don’t want to put any undo pressure.”last_img

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