A decision by B.C.'s teachers' union means a small fraction of half-a-million public school students may return to the classroom next week.
Executive members of the BC Teachers' Federation will redeploy picket lines next week away from the province's five year-round schools, meaning that if school districts agree those schools can resume.
A union spokesman says that Friday marks the 13th day of rotating and full-scale striking, and so year-round schools would be affected disproportionately if they remain shut when all other schools will otherwise be closed for summer holidays.
The decision was released to its members internally and the spokesman says it has no effect on the union's planned strike of summer school.
The government's bargaining arm applied earlier this week to the B.C. Labour Relations Board asking that schools on modified calendar years be added to the essential services designation. No decision has yet been rendered.
All five year-round schools teach at the elementary level and are located in Richmond, Langley, Maple Ridge and the Cariboo-Chilcotin.