By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB) Chair Greg Anderson announced a “potential loss of approximately 94 teaching positions as well as eight additional positions that focus on secondary school programming” due to changes by the Ontario Ministry of Education, including expanding Grade 9-12 classes from an average of 22 to 28 students.
Kindergarten to Grade 3 will maintain their class size. Grades 4-8 will expand by about one student. Anderson said GEDSB is still assessing the impact of changes to the Grade 4-8 classroom size. As the change is being phased in over four years, Education Minister Lisa Thompson said, “Not one teacher — not one — will lose their job because of our class size strategy.”
While GEDSB has not announced layoffs, Anderson said, “Understandably, this will create a challenging situation for our Board. As we develop our staffing plans moving forward, we will exercise extreme restraint in hiring to replace retiring teachers or those who leave the Board for other opportunities. We will also look for ways to offset the impact of this change over time.”
Chair of Brant Haldimand Norfolk School Board, Rick Petrella, said, “We are gathering more information from the Ministry of Education, including the details of the proposed changes. When we have that information, we will be in a position to comment on the potential impact on our staffing complement.”