BREAKING | District School Board of Niagara votes to reduce class sizes

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The District School Board of Niagara has announced that they will be reducing class sizes for this school year.

Trustees voted today to use an additional one percent of the DSBN’s accumulated surplus for the 2020/2021 budget to lower class sizes by hiring additional teachers.

The board anticipates class sizes to be reduced by 3 to 4 students.

The board says approximately $4.5 million, combined with other funds, the DSBN anticipates hiring an estimated 60 to 70 teachers.

The approved amount from the DSBN’s accumulated surplus budget is not part of the funds received from the federal and provincial government that was distributed to school boards to support reopening plans.

That means average class sizes for DSBN students will now be 22 in Kindergarten, 17 students in grades 1-3, 20-25 students in grades 4 to 8.

“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 3 to 4 students. We feel this is an important way to support our students,” said Sue Barnett, DSBN Chair of the Board.

“Reducing class sizes is a proactive step to further protect the health, safety, and well-being of students and staff in DSBN schools,” said Warren Hoshizaki, Director of Education.