Niagara Catholic reduces class sizes

Class sizes have been reduced by Niagara Catholic

The Niagara Catholic School Board has reduced class sizes to below the caps announced by the Ministry of Education in July.

The announcement follows a reduced class size policy change for District School Board of Niagara schools earlier this week.

Niagara Catholic working with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has adjusted class sizes to keep them as small as possible. Reducing class size will allow students and staff to maintain physical distancing guidelines within the classroom. This is meant to help improve the safety and well-being of all those attending school this fall.

The average class sizes outlined in the Niagara Catholic announcement sent are as follows. Kindergarten in-person class size average will fall to around 21 students, Grades 1 to 3 classes will be reduced to around 17 students, Grades 4-8 classes will be around 24 students. Typical average class sizes usually range from 20 to 27 students per class.

The virtual class size average, for students engaging in remote learning, will be around 28 students for kindergarten, 22 for Grades 1-3, and 28 for Grades 4-8.

Niagara Catholic also announced changes to how children will register for online and in-person classes. Originally, the plan was to allow parents to change their child’s registration decision up until the first day of school. Parents will no longer be able to that as of Sept. 3. Students are expected to attend in the manner in which they are registered. However, elementary school parents will be able to make changes by Sept. 15 for their children to start on Oct. 1. This procedure will remain in place going forward. Parents can make changes by the 15th of each month for those changes to take effect on the first day of the following month.

Secondary students (or their parents) will be able to make changes on Sept. 25 to begin on Oct. 13. After that, changes can be made near the beginning of a new course, the board said.