Niagara Catholic reduces elementary class sizes

Niagara Catholic District School Board press release – Niagara Catholic recognizes that smaller class sizes are important to parents, particularly this school year when physical distancing is important and that making the decision about whether your child will attend school virtually, or in-person, has been a difficult process for many families. We also recognize that parents and students are eager to know classroom assignments prior to the first day of school.

With regard to class sizes, Niagara Catholic is confident that we will provide class sizes below the Ministry of Education caps announced in July. Niagara Catholic is currently reviewing class sizes in cooperation with our OECTA partners for the beginning of school. We will continue to work together to continue to adjust class sizes as the school year begins, reducing class sizes in any way possible for the safety and well-being of all of our students and staff. A chart showing our current class sizes is below.

Our initial plan was to give parents the option to choose the way in which their child would attend school, effectively up to the first day of school. However, this presents challenges at the school level, specifically when it comes to staffing and assigning classrooms.

To allow our principals time to create classroom assignments for students and teachers, we have decided that parents will be unable to request a change to their child’s registration after today. Students will be expected to start school in the way that they are currently registered. Parents of elementary students may make changes by September 15, for their children to start on October 1. This will continue throughout the school year, with parents required to request changes by the 15th of one month, for students to change streams by the first of the following one.

Parents of a secondary student may make request changes on September 25, to begin on October 13. After that, parents may request changes near the beginning of a new course, with students able to enter the next course, either in school or at home, when it begins.

“Normally, at this stage of the summer, we are all looking forward to a new school year, with all of the energy and enthusiasm a fresh start brings,” said Director of Education Camillo Cipriano.

“This year, for many people, that energy and enthusiasm has been replaced by anxiety and fear. We know that the first day of school will be different for families this year. At this point, the greatest obstacle we have to overcome is the fear of the unknown. We want all students, staff and families to know that their health and safety is at the heart of all decisions we are making, with the best information we have available at the time.”