While many of BC’s school districts deal with a shortage of teachers, Okanagan-Similkameen heads into the new school year with an all but full house.

“We are in good shape with our recruiting,” Superintendent Bev Young said this afternoon. “We were diligent in the spring to get ahead of staffing so that we could post early and ahead of many other districts.”

Makeafuture.ca, which specializes in identifying education-related positions in British Columbia, is reporting 279 teaching and administration positions available across the province, including 73 positions in Metro Vancouver and 12 in the Okanagan.

Only one of those positions, says Ms. Young, is with the Okanagan-Similkameen School District.

“We had many full-time and part-time positions to fill due to the (Supreme Court of Canada) decision, retirements, resignations and leaves of various kinds,” she said. “As of now, we just have four postings yet to be filled, but we are confident that we can fill them.”

According to the SD53 website, those openings include just one full-time position — at Oliver Elementary.

Ms. Young also reported funding necessary to accommodate the additional teachers and related overhead is in place — at least for the first part of the school year.

“Thus far, we have access to the necessary funding to support overhead costs and costs of the additional teachers,” she said. “What we don’t know yet are the needs we will have after September 30 due to new registrations or the costs required to fulfill our obligation to provide remedy.

“We have been told, however, that this agreement will be fully funded.”

Students in the district are scheduled to go back to school Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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