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Province looking to reduce class sizes in K to 3
Hard caps could pose problem for division
The superintendent of the Red River Valley School Division says a provincial move towards smaller classroom sizes could mean big problems for the division.
The government is currently collecting data from divisions across the province on classroom sizes for kindergarten to Grade 3 students. The review is part of a five-year strategy to reduce class sizes for those grades.
Red River Valley superintendent Pauline Lafond-Bouchard said it’s still too early to say exactly what kind of impact the move could have on school divisions.
However, it could cause major problems for her division if the province decides to enforce a hard cap on class sizes, Lafond-Bouchard said.
"The biggest factor is what number the province is going to come up with and whether that number will be a soft cap or a hard cap," she said. "If it is a soft cap of 20 it will not be much of an issue, but if it is a hard cap of 20 then we will have issues."
Lafond-Bouchard said if the province settles on a hard cap, her division could run into staffing problems, and with budget constraints it would be difficult to hire additional staff.
"For now space is not an issue at our schools," she said. "But if there is an increased enrolment, staffing would definitely be an issue."
School divisions are currently being asked to provide the province with detailed information about existing class-sizes, including multi-aged classes with mixed grades, and five-year enrolment projections. The province says the information is required in order for its oversight committee to have a complete understanding of the current situation.
Lafond-Bouchard said even if the province does decide on a hard cap for kindergarten to Grade 3 classes, divisions will still have five years to work towards implementing the new strategy.
"The good thing is that this is being implemented over a five-year period, so we have time to work towards that," she said. "For now it’s a wait and see game."
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(1 of 9 articles for this week)05/24/2013 1:00 AM 0
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