A motion by Vancouver COPE School Trustee Allan Wong will make sure there is enough room in new classrooms for every student.
Wong’s motion, which calls for new classroom construction to accommodate at least 30 students, was passed unanimously by the Vancouver School Board’s Planning and Facilities Committee at its February 07 meeting.
Although Ministry of Education guidelines allow for average class sizes of up to 30 in grades four to seven, classrooms now being built are adequate for only 25 students.
The motion which now goes to the School Board’s February 20 meeting for approval, was prompted by a delegation from the Vancouver Elementary Teachers Association.
Ministry funding for class size and composition has been a highly controversial issue since the start of the school year and was a crucial factor in the recent teachers’ strike.
Classroom size is currently being explored at a Provincial Round Table of parents, teachers, principals, trustees, superintendents and Ministry officials in Victoria. The first discussions were chaired by Premier Gordon Campbell last fall. Reforms in class size and composition are expected by the 2007/2008 school year.
In 2003, COPE School Trustees set up the first committee in BC to look at issues related to class size and composition.