Ready or not, it's back to school

As kids head back to school across the province, things are a little different this year.

It's the first school year since a Supreme Court of Canada ruling restored teachers' 2002 contract language on class size and composition. The result has put pressure of school districts to create a greater number of smaller classes. For some districts, it has been a challenge.

Greater Victoria School District Superintendent Piet Langstraat says his district needed to create 84 new learning spaces, and they're not ready yet. "In spite of the incredible efforts some of the portables are held up a little bit. We do have plans to have those completed by the last week of September of the first week of October," says Langstraat. In the meantime, some kids will learn in alternate spaces like gymnasiums. "I'm very confident that students will still receive high quality education in those spaces. It's for a few short weeks as we finish off the infrastructure we need to complete."

In the Sooke School District, Superintendent Jim Cambridge says they're still putting the finishing touches on new portables and other spaces that have been converted into classrooms, "still some issues and we have some student furniture that's still coming tomorrow. But, overall, our facilities staff have done a remarkable job of getting 30 news learning spaces ready this summer."

Cambridge says despite the space challenges, the changes are positive. "We've got smaller classes, more specialist teachers in. It will probably take us the first three or four days to adjust and get down to a rhythm but after that we're looking at 10 months of fantastic education."

Local police are reminding drivers that schools are back in session and school speed zones are being enforced.

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