BREAKING | Niagara Catholic also planning to cut class sizes and will let parents opt kids in

Camillo Cirpriano- Niagara Catholic

The Niagara Catholic School Board is also moving to reduce the number of children in elementary class sizes.

The Catholic Board says elementary students will go back to new, reduced class sizes next week.

The average class size will be 21.75 students in kindergarten, 17.4 in grades 1-3, and 23.8 in grades 4-8.

It's not clear how the adjustments will be funded.

The Catholic Board is also allowing parents to change their minds each month.

Students will be expected to start school in the way that they are currently registered, but parents can change their mind and switch to in-class learning by September 15th, for their children to start on October 1st.

This will continue throughout the school year, with parents required to request changes by the 15th of one month, for students to change streams by the first of the following one.

Parents of secondary student may make request changes on September 25, to begin on October 13.

After that, parents may request changes near the beginning of a new course, with students able to enter the next course, either in school or at home, when it begins.

High school cohorts are already capped at 15 students.

“Normally, at this stage of the summer, we are all looking forward to a new school year, with all of the energy and enthusiasm a fresh start brings,” said Director of Education Camillo Cipriano.
“This year, for many people, that energy and enthusiasm has been replaced by anxiety and fear. We know that the first day of school will be different for families this year. At this point, the greatest obstacle we have to overcome is the fear of the unknown. We want all students, staff and families to know that their health and safety is at the heart of all decisions we are making, with the best information we have available at the time.”

The District School Board of Niagara has voted to use a 4.5 million dollar surplus for the coming year to hire 60 to 70 teachers, and decrease class sizes by 3 to 4 students.

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.