Class sizes to be reduced at DSBN schools for new school year

kids with teacher Photo credit: File photo

The District School Board of Niagara has said it will reduce class sizes by hiring more teachers in the coming school year.

At a special meeting of the board held yesterday, trustees voted unanimously to allocate one per cent of its surplus budget to reduce class sizes for the 2020/2021 school year which starts next week. The funding equates to approximately $4.5 million. DSBN will hire an estimated 60 to 70 additional teachers to make the smaller class sizes possible.

The board said it would ideally like class sizes in elementary schools to range from 17 to 25 students per class, as opposed to the typical class size range of 20 to 27 students per class. Additionally, there will be no more than 15 students per class at secondary schools as per the adaptive model approved by the Ministry of Education.

DSBN class sizes table
DSBN class sizes for 2020/2021 school year. Source: DSBN

“Safety is our top concern, and the pandemic has presented us with unique challenges. By using the
accumulated surplus funds to hire more staff, we anticipate we will be able to decrease class sizes by three
to four students. We feel this is an important way to support our students,” said Sue Barnett, DSBN Chair of
the Board.

Funds in the surplus budget are not part of the funds received by federal and provincial governments distributed for school reopening plans.