As we await more details from the Ministry of Education regarding its New Vision for Education in Ontario, Grand Erie remains committed to the goal of our Multi-Year Plan, Success for Every Student.
Based on the government’s proposed changes to secondary school class sizes, the staffing impact for Grand Erie on moving to an average class size of 28 will be the potential loss of approximately 94 teaching positons as well as eight additional positions that focus on secondary school programming.
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 off-set the impact of this change over time, as was outlined by the Education Minister last week.
At the elementary school level, the government has also proposed changes to class sizes in Grades 4-8. Grand Erie is still assessing the impact of these changes on the Board.
We are pleased to see the Ministry’s focus on increasing exposure to skilled trades, technology and apprenticeship training. We hope this will help boost Grand Erie’s already strong Specialist High Skills Major programs in Construction, Manufacturing and Transportation.
We’re cautiously optimistic about the government’s commitment to increasing learning about Indigenous perspectives, cultures, contributions and histories – a key priority for our Board as seen through the Equity indicator of our Multi-Year Plan.
Finally, we’re encouraged to see that the Ministry is seeking input on hiring practices and we look forward to the results of the consultation on Regulation 274.