Education director concerned about future in secondary classrooms

Bluewater District School Board. (Photo by Kirk Scott)

The director of education for the Bluewater District School Board worries about an increase in class sizes.

Alana Murray said despite some confusion that there might be more money coming from the province to keep class sizes lower, nothing has changed.

The numbers will increase in secondary schools from 22 to 28.

Murray said teachers will cope but what concerns her is fewer adults in the schools.

“At a time when students need caring adults around them as they work through a lot of decisions and choices and mental health issues, all of those things, it’s important that there’s sufficient adults around them to supervise them and to interact with them in positive ways,” said Murray in an interview after the first board meeting of the school year.

She added fewer teachers is especially concerning for small rural boards.

“We want our students to have the same opportunities as other students in the province,” said Murray. “We already have small schools so it’s difficult to deliver a full range of programs and then you add this on top of that, it just makes it more difficult.”

Murray said the loss of teachers will happen gradually through attrition so the class sizes won’t increase immediately.┬áBut she said unless something changes, they will increase.