Haida Gwaii class sizes smaller than BC average

  • Oct. 31, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Class sizes on Haida Gwaii continue to be smaller than the BC average, according to the class size report approved by school trustees at their Oct. 25 meeting at Sk’aadgaa Naay elementary. The average kindergarten class on the islands this year has 14.2 students, the average grade 1-3 class has 15.7 students, the average grade 4-7 class has 21.3 students, and the average high school class has 14.4 students. Except for the grade 4-7 number, these averages are a bit lower than last year on Haida Gwaii. They are also lower than last year’s BC average by several students, especially when it comes to high school. The average grade 8-12 class in the province has 25.1 students, many more than the 14.4 here. Trustees also approved the 2010-2011 statement of financial information, an annual report on school district revenue and spending required by the province. The report lists the remuneration and expenses paid to the five trustees, the remuneration and expenses for all employees who make over $75,000, and the amount paid to each supplier who received over $25,000. According to the report, the school district had 28 employees who made over $75,000 last year, including seven who made over $100,000. The top suppliers included the teachers’ pension plan, the municipal pension plan, First Bus Canada, North Arm Transportation, and Coastal Propane. The list prompted a question from trustee Christine Martynuik. “We have North Arm Transportation receiving $247,000 and Coastal Propane receiving $212,000,” she said. “Is that the total of our heating bill?” Superintendent Angus Wilson said those two amounts do reflect the district’s heating expenses, although $64,000 paid to a supplier mainly for furnace maintenance could also be added. “The typical school costs $50,000 to $100,000 to heat,” he said. “If you come to school and it’s November and the door is open, shut it.”

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