UPDATE: TDSB looking at delaying start to school year


UPDATE: Speaking to Moore in the Morning on Friday, TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird confirms the board is looking at a delay to the start of the school year.

He says it's due to significant changes that were announced on Thursday.

ORIGINAL: The Toronto District School Board says if smaller class sizes can be achieved financially, that might mean the board wouldn't be ready to welcome back students on Sept. 8.

In a letter to trustees, interim TDSB director Carlene Jackson says with provincial funding and dipping into the board's reserves, they could feasibly make smaller class sizes happen.

But with smaller class sizes, the board would need to acquire additional space at a number of schools, which staff have been trying to secure.

The other issue, if the board takes from its reserves now — money that's earmarked for future use — it could lead to serious financial impacts in the future.

Jackson says there also may not be sufficient capacity to transport students via bus if several new locations are added. 

"At a minimum, there will be a delay in establishing new route plans to these additional sites so transportation may be delayed for the first month of school for these sites," Jackson's letter states. 

The board believes with help from the province, they could come up with about $20 million to create 15-student classrooms from junior kindergarten to Grade 3, and 20-student classrooms from Grade 4 to Grade 8.

To do that, they would end the school day about 45 minutes earlier than normal, and give teachers time to prep after students are dismissed. But that move would require ministry approval, and they would have to reassign teachers.

The board doesn't know at this point if they'll be able to do that in time for Sept. 8.