Fredericton High School has suddenly cancelled 18 courses next year, sparking a petition by students demanding the classes be reinstated.

The cancelled classes range from advanced placement psychology, to metals processing, to financial and workplace math.

Fredericton High School

More than 500 students at Fredericton High School have signed a petition demanding that the 18 classes cancelled for next year be reinstated. (CBC)

In addition, six Grade 12 courses will not be offered in French next year for immersion students.

School principal Shane Thomas has declined to comment, saying he does not consider the matter newsworthy.

Tim Scammell, whose son is among the affected students, disagrees.

"Back in March … they say, 'You have to pick your classes and be ready,' but then one week before the end of the school year, we're told, 'Oh by the way,' you know.

"So all these kids have to suddenly go back into guidance and try to totally rework their schedules. So, it's going to be mayhem there," he said.

Scammell says school officials have said the cancellations are due to declining enrolment.

When the school loses a full-time equivalent teacher, that equals the loss of eight courses.

More than 500 students have signed the petition so far.

Trades popular

Susan Price, says her son, who is in Grade 11 and not academically inclined, will miss the shop courses.

Her older son took several of them before graduating last year, she said. "He couldn't wait … to get into Grade 11 and pick some non-academic courses because he was interested in doing a trade," she said of her elder son.

"He knew in Grade 10 he did not want to go to university. He wanted to do a trade. So he went through various trades that were offered at the school  welding was one, auto electrical systems, and a workplace math. He took all three."

He is now enrolled at the New Brunswick Community College and is well on his way to a career working as a heavy equipment mechanic, Price said.

He is currently on a student-work program and at age 19, is earning money, she said.

Price contends many students want to go the trades route, pointing to declining university enrolment.

She says the trades are where the jobs are and cutting trades classes in a province that needs workers for projects such as the proposed west-east oil pipeline does not make sense.