Niagara Catholic Dir. of Ed defends move to cut class sizes amid criticism

Camillo Cirpriano- Niagara Catholic

The Niagara Catholic School Board is 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 with kindergarten class sizes sitting at 21.75 students, 17.4 in grades 1-3, and 23.8 in grades 4-8.

The board's new Director of Education Camillo Cipriano tells CKTB the average class sizes may even come down even further.

Cipriano disputes complaints that the announcement is smoke and mirrors, saying while reorganizing of classrooms has taken place the main goal is to keep class sizes low.

He says they decided to make on-line classes a bit larger to accommodate smaller in-class sizes.

He says he recognizes that some classes may be larger than the board's average but they will target larger classes by hiring more teachers.

He says there is a plan to hire more teachers within the next week saying the board has the ability to use surplus funding if need be.

The Catholic Board is also allowing parents to change their minds each month by informing the board by the 15th of the month that they want to send their children to in-class learning the following month.

The DSBN also announced plans this week to reduce class sizes by using 4.5 million dollars in surplus funding to hire 60-70 teachers to cut class sizes by 3 to 4 students.