Regina Public moves 16 teachers in first 2 weeks, students 'devastated'

Hundreds of students busy settling into their classrooms throughout Regina Public Schools have been told they will be getting a new teacher despite the school year having already started.

Parents concerned with September shuffle

Students within six classrooms at W.S. Hawrylak School are getting shuffled to balance class sizes after one teacher was moved to a different school. (Google maps)

Hundreds of students busy settling into their classrooms throughout Regina Public Schools have been told they will be getting a new teacher.

Leah Sutton-Knowles has two daughters who attend W.S. Hawrylak School in Grade 2 and Grade 6.

This week, her seven-year-old came home with a letter saying they are moving her teacher to Massey School.

"My daughter couldn't sleep last night, she was sick to her stomach, didn't want to go to school today," Sutton-Knowles told CBC on Tuesday. "No matter how positive we were towards it with her and encouraging about it she just, emotionally, is devastated."

Sutton-Knowles said the principal called each family, telling them that because the teacher was moved by the division, students within six classrooms are getting shuffled to balance class sizes.

"It can't be easy on the teachers either because it's not like the teachers have a choice, they're just told," she said. "The school board needs to take ownership of this."

New schools, new students lead to more changes

Hawrylak isn't the only school facing a shuffle. Terry Lazarou with Regina Public Schools said the process happens every year, but this year 16 teachers were moved, six more than the 10 who were moved last year.

Every year before the new school year starts, Lazarou said the division estimates how many teachers will be needed for the expected enrolment of students.

Lazarou said the three new schools to the division, École Harbour Landing School, École Wascana Plains School and Plainsview School, all had estimated enrolments. Students moved from other schools in the division, other divisions or other cities all together to fill the schools, he explained.

"We had a high number of new Canadians come into our school division over the past couple of years. As some of those new Canadian families have established themselves they've moved to new neighbourhoods in Regina," Lazarou said. "They didn't necessarily inform us when they were moving."

The division aims for a ratio of 24.5 students per teacher. When more students enroll at one school than expected, teachers need to be moved to accommodate.  

"When we find out in September it's a little late," Lazarou said. "The sooner that parents can let us know where they intend to have their kids go to school, the better."

The division encourages parents to enroll their children into the school in their neighbourhood. There is a school locator tool on the website.

If you aren't moving your children to a new school, there is no need to contact the division.