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More than 300 college courses that will be axes due to class size increases, says TDSB



Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson at Ontario Legislature in Toronto on July 30, 2018.

Chris Young / CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto District School Board will interrupt more than 300 courses in its secondary schools in the next academic year as a result of provincial class size changes.

The school board on Friday released a school-wide school analysis of both elective and compulsory courses that will be canceled or scaled back, as well as those who continue with larger classes and combined grades.

The 313 interrupted course sections include classes in English, geography, economics and science. The board says that the upper secondary school offers all required courses required for the degree, but there may be fewer time slots when they are offered and the classes would be larger.

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"We have said from the beginning that as you reduce the number of secondary teachers in our schools, it has a direct impact on the course options and services of our students," said spokesman Ryan Bird in an email.

"As a result of provincial class size changes, we have seen a number of optional courses interrupted, a number of others continuing but with larger class sizes or combined grades and levels, and a number of other libraries and guidance services reduced."

In total, more than 700 upper secondary schools are affected by changes in class sizes, TDSB noted.

Doug Ford's government announced this year would increase the average grade sizes of a student in grades 4 to 8 and to 28 from 22 in high school over the next four years, eliminating an estimated 3 375 teaching sites, as it tries to trim a deficit it points to $ 11 , 7 billion.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson said no teacher would lose his job despite the changes, which meant that teaching assignments would not be filled as trainers retiring or voluntarily leaving the profession.

But several school districts have warned that changes in the average size of the class will result in fewer course options for students, especially specialized classes, and may ultimately affect the degree rates.

A Thompson spokesman said on Friday that the government is providing $ 1.6 billion in government-funded boards, and should be used to protect specialized programs.

"The school simply doesn't have the information they need to communicate these changes. TDSB acts irresponsibly and just scares students and their families," says Kayla Iafelice.

She said that the school boards should have more information to plan for the next school year before the end of the month.

TDSB said that the average university's class size would rise to 23.6 from 22 on the next school year, as it moves towards a class size of 28 over four years.

The Board has estimated that the changes would lead to the loss of about 800 teaching places.

It is said on Friday that a staff reduction would also affect support for high school students, including fewer teacher librarians and counselors.

Leslie Wolfe, CEO of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation Toronto, said her union has been concerned that students are losing out on the program choice due to government cuts. "It will only get worse in each subsequent year," she said.


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