Candidate for Trustee SD61 Greater Victoria

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Educating 19,500 students in 51 schools and facilities, School District 61 delivers public education to 6 municipalities within the Capital Region District.  

  • Esquimalt
  • Highlands
  • Oak Bay
  • Saanich (south of Mount Douglas and Camosun Interurban Campus)
  • Victoria
  • View Royal

Greater Victoria School District

SD61

Elementary

28 schools served 8271 Kindergarten to Grade 5 students in 2013-14


School average class size for Kindergarten ranged from  14.5 to 22 with a district average of 19.1. Since 2007/08 average class sizes have increased by 0.4 students although growth has not been consistent.


Since 2009/10 the number of Kindergarten students has grown steadily with numbers approximately 10% higher than in 2013.


French Immersion has grown in popularity; at the Kingergarten level numbers have increased by 41% since 2007/08.  Attrition has tended to reduce numbers to 2007/08 levels by Gr 4 however. 


English Language Learners at the Kindergarten level have nearly tripled since 2009/10.  At higher grades, numbers fluctuate with no significant trend. Overall the ELL population has grown by approximately 10% since 2007/08.


Middle

10 schools served 8271 Kindergarten to Grade 5 students in 2013-14


School average class size for Kindergarten ranged from  14.5 to 22 with a district average of 19.1.  Since 2009/10 average class sizes have increased by 0.4 students although with some fluctuations.


Since 2009/10 the number of Kindergarten students has grown steadily with numbers approximately 10% higher than in 2013.




Secondary

28 schools served 8271 Kindergarten to Grade 5 students in 2013-14


School average class size for Kindergarten ranged from  14.5 to 22 with a district average of 19.1.  Since 2009/10 average class sizes have increased by 0.4 students although with some fluctuations.


Since 2009/10 the number of Kindergarten students has grown steadily with numbers approximately 10% higher than in 2013.




individual class sizes are capped at: 22 for K

                                                          24 for Gr1 - Gr3

                                                          30 for Gr 4  - 12



click on map for a large size PDF image

Individual class limits are defined in the School Act as:   

  • 22 for K
  • 24 for Gr 1 - Gr 3
  • 30 for Gr 4 - Gr 12​

​Class sizes may exceed 30 for certain classes (typically band and gym).  In other cases, teachers are compensated for more than 30 students with additional preparation time or  payments according to a formula set out in regulations.

There are currently no limits on the number of students with Individual Education Plans (formerly limited to 3 per class).

Students with Individual Education Plans typically require additional attention from the teacher to function or learn within a classroom environment. The IEP identifies specific actions to be taken to address the student's specific requirements. In some cases Educational Assistants will provide additional support while Learning Resource teachers may provide additional instruction outside of class.  For several reasons including recent collective agreements that earmarked portions of the provincial Learning Improvement Fund to increase EA hours of work, the number of EAs working within the district has steadily increased in the past several years. The number of classes EAs support has grown from 471 in 2007/08 to 584 in 2013/14. EAs may support a single child with profound needs or work with a number of students within a single class, a practice known as clustering.  Clustering is a consequence of underfunding for special needs students. Provincial funding formulas do not cover the full time salary of EAs, even where students must be constantly supervised.  By clustering several students together, their pooled funding is enough to provide a greater amount of EA time.  Unfortunately, this can result in significantly higher workloads for both EAs and teachers as each child requires individual attention.  It has also been suggested that this has the result of ghetto-izing students with IEPs as their numbers increase in some classes while declining or disappearing elsewhere.


While some students may be identified as requiring an IEP due to physical or developmental conditions before arriving at school, other conditions may be identified through testing completed within the school system. Testing is costly in terms of staff time and waitlisting of students may result in evaluation delays of a year or more. In the interim, these "grey area" students are supported by teachers to the extent possible

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