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More than 300 high school courses will be eliminated due to an increase in class size, said TDSB



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

Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto District School Board will cancel more than 300 high school courses in the following academic year as a result of provincial changes to class size.

The school board on Friday released an analysis of schools from both elective and compulsory subjects which would be canceled or upgraded, and those who proceeded with larger classes and combined grades.

313 parts of canceled courses include classes in English, geography, economics and science. The board said secondary schools would offer all the required programs needed for graduation, but there might be fewer time slots when they are offered and classes would be bigger.

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"We have said from the outset that when you reduce the number of secondary school teachers in our school, it has a direct impact on course options and services for our students," spokesman Ryan Bird said in a statement via e-mail.

"As a result of changing provinces to average class sizes, we have seen a number of elective courses canceled, a number of other subjects that will continue but with larger class sizes or a combination of grades and levels and a number of other services such as libraries and guidance reduced . "

In total, more than 700 secondary school courses are affected by changes in class size, notes TDSB.

Government Doug Ford announced earlier this year that it would increase the average class size by one student in Grades 4 to 8, and to 28 out of 22 in secondary schools over the next four years – eliminating around 3,475 teaching positions while trying to reduce the deficit peg $ 11.7 billion.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson said there were no teachers who would lose their jobs despite changes, meaning that teaching positions would not be filled when retired educators or voluntarily left the profession.

But some school districts have warned that changing average class sizes will result in fewer course choices for students, especially special classes, and ultimately can affect graduation rates.

A spokesperson for Ms. Thompson said on Friday that the government had provided a $ 1.6 billion transition fund to the council, and that it should be used to protect special programs.

"School boards do not have the information they need to be able to communicate this change. TDSB acts irresponsibly and only scares students and their families, "said Kayla Iafelice.

He said that the school board must have more information to plan the next school year before the end of the month.

TDSB said the average size of the middle school class would increase to 23.6 out of 22 in the next school year, because it moved towards the average size of class 28 for four years.

The Board has estimated that these changes will result in the loss of around 800 teaching positions.

It said on Friday that staff reductions would also affect support for secondary school students, including fewer teacher librarians and guidance counselors.

Leslie Wolfe, president of the Toronto Ontario Middle School Teachers Federation, said the union had worried students who had lost program choices as a result of government cuts. "It will only get worse every year in a row," he said.


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