As teachers welcomed back students today, they returned to smaller classroom sizes.
“With Kindergarten it is 20,” says Joanne Hapke, President of the Prince George District Teachers’ Association. “A K/1 class would also be 20. Grade 1, 2, 3 would be 22. Grade 3/4 split would be 24. 4 through 7 would be 29, and 30 for high school.”
After the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the BC Teachers’ Federation to restore classroom sizes and composition to what they were in 2002, more teachers were brought into School District 57 in compliance with the restored language. According to Superintendent, Marilyn Marquis Forester, the number of positions that still need to be filled is shrinking. However, if enrollment is higher than anticipated , the District will look at hiring additional teachers throughout the month of September. “In the interim of course we have teachers teaching on call, supply teachers who can be called in to cover. We might on occasions — it depends on the schools situation– have a support teacher who is scheduled to work in a support position move in and cover a grade classroom until a teaching vacancy is filled.”
“We have about 1,000 [teachers],” says Hapke. “We are really not going to know until the end of September/ beginning of October exactly how many new teachers we received. There are a fair number that came into the District. We had a Teacher Orientation on Thursday where we got to meet a number of the teachers hired, and there were a few people in that room from all over Canada.”