Dear friends, 

Once again, welcome back to another school year! We know how difficult it can be to truly take care of ourselves during the school year, so I hope you were able to relax and recuperate surrounded by your loved ones and communities the last two months. On behalf of the Surrey Teachers’ Association, I express my profound gratitude for your unwavering dedication and tireless contributions to our students and communities in the upcoming school year. 

Reflecting upon the preceding academic year, it is evident that a discrepancy arose between the district’s projected enrollment of 750 new students and the actual enrollment exceeding 2,200. Consequently, our already crowded classrooms and schools faced heightened congestion. To alleviate this issue, the district purchased additional portables, resulting in a total of 335 portables by September, up from 310 by the end of June 2023. 

As evident from recent articles in the Surrey Now-Leader, district projections suggest a probable increase in the number of portables during the following school year as Surrey’s population continues to grow. To name a few issues, portables can often overheat and pose accessibility barriers due to distances away from the main school buildings. It is imperative to recognize that diverting funds toward portable acquisitions depletes resources that could otherwise be allocated to vital educational programs and services that benefit our students’ well-being. Equally crucial is the well-being of our educators and support staff, all of whom have the right to thrive in safe and nurturing environments, both physically and emotionally.  

As we navigate the systemic challenges that lie ahead, I implore us to place not only our students but also ourselves at the forefront. Our commitment to our students is evident in our vocation, and it is paramount that we exemplify self-care and community care, enabling them and our children to learn from our actions. Please remember that we stand united to address these concerns, advocating for improved working conditions and an environment in which both our students and we can truly flourish both inside and outside of our classrooms. 


Jatinder  Bir

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