NSTU president pleased about reduction in class sizes in lower elementary

HALIFAX, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - NSTU president Shelley Morse is pleased that Education Minister Ramona Jennex has listened to teachers and parents about the concerns with class size caps.

"Lowering the class cap from 29 to 25 in Grades Primary to 3 is the right thing to do to help ensure our excellent educators in classrooms across the province are being supported in meeting the learning needs of those students," says Morse.

As students returned to classes across the province this school year with 350 fewer teachers— close to half of which were cut from the Halifax Regional School Board alone—the NSTU was hearing from its members about classrooms exceeding the provincial class cap, which was 29 in Grades Primary to 3.

"Having spent 28 years as a classroom teacher in lower elementary, a small class size is crucial in ensuring that young students get the individual attention they need to become successful learners," she continues.

Morse goes on to say that research studies on class size for the early elementary grades indicate that small classes improve the quality of teachers' relationships with students and student engagement in learning and gives more time for teachers to help individual students experiencing difficulty.

"Smaller class size allows teachers to carry out intensive, focused, teacher-guided activities effectively," she adds.

The Minister has listened to teachers and parents about this issue, and Morse hopes that the teacher and parent voice continues to be heard when it comes to our public education system. "We need to maintain our quality system through adequate funding that meets the diverse needs of all students. "We look forward to working with the Department on ensuring that our public education system is adequately funded to meet all students' needs."

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents more than 10,600 public school teachers, Community College faculty and professional support staff and teachers who work for the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority. Since 1895, it has worked to improve the quality of public education in Nova Scotia.



For further information:

Angela Murray, NSTU Public Relations Coordinator
Telephone: 902-479-4708, Cell: 902-497-0194, Email: amurray@staff.nstu.ca

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