Too late to trim class sizes this term, teachers' union says

The head of the Calgary public teachers’ union says it is too late in the semester to do anything about large high school class sizes.

President Frank Bruseker not optimistic Calgary high school classes will shrink next semester either

The head of the Calgary public teachers’ union says it is too late in the semester to do anything about large high school class sizes.

High schools bore the brunt of budget cuts, resulting in some core classes ballooning to as many as 40 students.

And they will likely have to stay that way, said Alberta Teachers’ Association Calgary local president Frank Bruseker.

“To try to change timetables now at this stage of the semester, it's probably too late. Quite frankly that would be more upheaval that we don't need to add on to the students’ workloads,” he said.

“If we are going to see changes in high school class sizes I don't see that happening before the next semester, which is the beginning of February.”

Sheila Taylor, the public school trustee for Wards 11 and 13, said she has so far been unable to get precise class size numbers from the Calgary Board of Education (CBE).

“I think we need to make sure that that happens we need to make sure the board is having a discussion about class sizes in advance of the second semester and we're addressing the concerns of parents,” she said.  

CBE officials said, anecdotally, class sizes are the same as last year on average.

But Bruseker said he has heard otherwise.

“Well if your child is in that class of 40 in a Physics 20 class, saying ‘on average we're doing all right’ is not going to be very satisfactory to those parents.”

The CBE has close to 111,000 students enrolled this year — an increase of 3.4 per cent over last year.

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