More classrooms and teachers have been added in B.C. for the current school year. (Black Press files)

Class sizes down, special needs up, BCTF says

A third of B.C. school districts don’t have class composition rules

The number of B.C. public school classrooms with more than 30 students has declined this year, with the addition of more than 3,500 teachers to meet the terms of last year’s court decision restoring limits to the teacher’s union contract.

But the number of classes with four or more students identified as having special needs is up slightly over the last school year.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation used the education ministry’s statistics to check progress. They show that the number of classes with 30 or more students dropped by 45 per cent, from 1,385 to 757 compared to the last school year. The B.C. government’s increase in funding added an additional 4,300 more classrooms to the system.

The number of classrooms with four children with special needs rose just under one per cent, to 17,466 classes. But because of the additional classes, the percentage dealing with four or more special needs students is lower. The number of classes with seven or more special needs students fell by 17 per cent.

“Class composition is more complex because of differences in local collective agreement language as well as district student assessment and staffing processes,” said BCTF president Glen Hansman. “For example, about a third of our local teachers’ associations don’t have any class composition language.”

On class sizes, from last school year to the current one, the average Kindergarten class size declined from 19.1 to 17.8 students. Similar decreases were recorded in the later grades, about one fewer student per class across the board.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii seabird conservation highlighted at international congress

Bird Studies Canada’s David Bradley is co-convening a symposium on biosecurity for island species

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Ferry sailing delayed after divers check Northern Adventure

Divers called in to check propeller shaft, sailing to Haida Gwaii now 140 minutes behind

Haida Gwaii fishery staff gear up for marine mammal rescues

Haida fishery guardians and DFO fishery officers better equipped to rescue marine mammals

B.C. woman promoting ‘orange glow’ campaign to support firefighters

A Penticton woman is hoping an orange ribbon campaign will catch on throughout B.C.

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program

The deal would acquire the Aeroplan loyalty program from Aimia Inc

Microsoft uncovers more Russian attacks ahead of midterms

Evidence found of Russian hacking attempts targeting U.S. political groups

Animal crackers break free from their cages

PETA pressures Mondelez International to show animals roaming in their natural habitats

U.S. man admits slaying wife, blames her for daughters’ deaths

A 33-year-old Denver man is facing three first-degree murder charges

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha as pilgrims conduct hajj rites

More than 2 million pilgrims carry out the final rites of the hajj in Saudi Arabia

White Spot records B.C. Pirate Pak record day

Popular B.C.-Alberta event raises more than $116,000 to send kids and adults to Zajac Ranch

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Most Read