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

Corbin evacuation order downgraded to alert

RDEK warns 10 property owners southeast of Sparwood to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Child, 4, attacked by cougar at Lower Morrissey Creek

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened when the family was fishing west of Fernie

Fernie SAR rescues injured biker

A mountain biker has been rescued after injuring himself in Fernie’s Ridgemont trails area.

Lightning sparks fires, closes Fernie music festival

Heavy rain, hail and lightning temporarily shuts down Wapiti Music Festival on Saturday.

Fernie mayor joins calls for backcountry closure

Mary Giuliano has backed calls to close the backcountry as a wildfire rages east of Fernie.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

B.C. school’s pledge to ban sex outside of heterosexual marriage now optional for students

Community convenant of Langley’s Trinity Western University has been centre of rights debate

48 sockeye, harbour seal seized from poachers caught on B.C. river

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for salmon fishing at night

Most Read