Willoughby Elementary student Danica Hamilton, 5, with mom Deeanndra, is one of 20,000 students returning to the Langley School District’s 50 schools and other educational facilities this week. The School district has added 118 teachers. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Back to school in Langley

About 20,000 students expected in local school district

Willoughby Elementary student Danica Hamilton was walking hand-in-hand with mom Deeanndra outside the school at 208 Street and 80 Avenue Tuesday morning as students began returning to classes.

The five-year-old was looking forward to school, but would have to wait until Wednesday, when her classes were set to start.

Danica, 5, was one of 20,000 students returning to the Langley School District’s 50 schools and other educational facilities this week.

The School district has added 118 teachers to bring the pupil-to-teacher ratio in line with a recent court ruling.

A Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2016 forced the provincial government to restore staffing to 2002 levels after it ruled a former Liberal government improperly took away the union’s right to bargain class size and the composition of those classes.

READ MORE: Government to hire up to 3,700 new teachers and a number of educational assistants

Langley RCMP plan to be out in force this week, keeping an eye out for speeders in school zones.

Police detachments around the province are teaming up with Insurance Corp. of B.C. for the “Think of Me” campaign, which asks drivers to pay attention in school zones and be cautious of kids near school buses.

Our goal is to educate and enforce school zone violations with a particular focus on distracted driving,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughling.

“If you’re tired of hearing that message from police officers, perhaps you’ll be more receptive to hand-drawn ‘Think of Me’ cards that have been made by the students themselves.”

The British Columbia Automobile Association is warning drivers to be especially watchful in the first few weeks of school.

ICBC statistics show that 51 kids in the Lower Mainland are injured each year while in school and playground zones.

READ MORE: Back to school: Kids talk social media, the web and slang words



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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