More Than 500,000 Students Benefiting From Smaller Class Sizes



    Almost 90% Of Primary Classes Now Have 20 Or Fewer Students

    LONDON, ON, Jan. 9 /CNW/ - Students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 are
receiving more individual attention from their teachers, Education Minister
Kathleen Wynne announced today. Almost 90 per cent of primary classes have 20
or fewer students and nearly all classes have 23 or fewer.
    "I want to thank parents, teachers, students, principals, support staff
and all educators who have partnered with us to make this positive impact in
our local elementary schools," said Wynne. "This partnership is having
far-reaching benefits for Ontario's families, ensuring that Ontario remains a
world leader in publicly funded education."
    This year, 530,000 primary students are in classes of 20 or fewer,
compared to only 166,000 students four years ago. At the same time, average
class sizes for grades 4 to 8 have decreased.
    The McGuinty government has increased annual funding to $406 million to
support over 5,100 teachers who have been added across the province to
significantly reduce the size of Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 classes.
    Data released today show primary class sizes across the province are down
compared to four years ago:

    
    -   88.4 per cent now have 20 or fewer students this year compared to
        31 per cent in 2003-2004
    -   99.7 per cent now have 23 or fewer students this year compared to
        64 per cent in 2003-2004
    

    "Students in smaller classes receive more attention and have greater
success in the early grades," said Michael Fullan, professor emeritus at the
University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and special
advisor to Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Smaller class size combined with improved
teaching of literacy and math makes it much more likely that students will
excel in high school, graduate and reach their full potential."
    "We're pleased with the great strides already made and we will continue
to work with our education partners to fully implement our ambitious plan to
cap 90 per cent of primary classes in Ontario at 20 or fewer pupils," said
Wynne. "Our education investments are working, and thanks to them, we're
seeing positive results for our students in classrooms across the province."
    Wynne and London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews visited the Grade 2 class
at Jack Chambers Elementary School. Today, the school has 16 primary classes
with fewer than 20 students, compared to only two classes four years ago.
    Parents can check primary class sizes at their local school by using the
government's Class Size Tracker at www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/cst.
    Other significant results from the McGuinty government's $3.7 billion
additional investment in publicly funded education include:

    
    -   More high school students are graduating - from 2003-04 to 2005-06,
        the graduation rate rose five percentage points to 73 per cent,
        resulting in 12,000 more graduates
    -   More support for music, physical education and the arts with the
        addition of 1,925 specialist elementary teachers
    -   The majority of Grade 3 and 6 test results have improved overall by
        at least 10 percentage points over the past four years
    -   Peace and stability from four-year labour contracts with teachers.

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress
    




For further information:

For further information: Derek Luk, Minister's Office, (416) 325-0122;
Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries:
(416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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