Concerns Regarding School Space and Class Composition 2017-2018

Macaulay Parents and Guardians,

As some of you have heard, Macaulay is adding three new divisions (classes) for next year, bringing the total to 23 divisions. We currently have 20. This increase is due in part to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing teachers to negotiate class size and composition, and also due to increased enrollment. The student population is going from 430 to 450. This has raised some concerns that we feel should be shared with all parents to make sure they are aware of how these changes impact our children.

To accommodate these three new divisions, space needs to be made in the school. The StrongStart and Learning Support classrooms will be moved out of their existing classrooms into our existing portables, freeing up two classrooms. This will have an impact on these two programs, as well as the West Coast Kids out-of-school care that currently operates in one of the portables. West Coast Kids will have to share the portable with the Learning Support classroom.

The third classroom will be made available by dismantling the computer lab. The computer lab will become a “mobile” lab consisting of tablets as opposed to actual computers. A mobile computer lab is less than ideal: instruction time will likely be reduced due to having to move from class to class and hand out devices, and mobile devices do not provide the same kind of technical exposure and longitudinal learning that an account-based computer lab provides. The school administration is working to find solutions around this issue, however it is uncertain what the final outcome will be and the PAC is advocating for the addition of another portable at the school to help solve this problem.

The other major concern is the proposed composition and size of the intermediate classes. Grade 4 and 5 English students will have a class size of 20 students with several children needing extra help in each class. The Grade 4 French students will be divided into 3 classes – one with 28 students and the remaining eight students will be divided into two Grade 3/4 splits, each with four Grade 4 students. This is not an ideal learning environment for our children and the PAC is advocating for more EA time for the school to help support our student body and teachers, as well as a more sensible class composition for the Grade 3 and Grade 4 students.

Here is a letter written by the PAC Executive for more details. Also this is a letter the teachers have written with their concerns.

Please note the administration at Macaulay is doing their best given the current circumstances around physical space and class size/composition. If you have concerns around these issues it would be most helpful if you address your concerns via email/letter or in person at the District level.

What you can do:
– Talk to your child’s classroom teacher to educate yourself on the issues
– Talk to other parents at the school to make sure they are aware of the issues
– Write a letter or email to the following people outlining your concerns for your child and/or the school:

— Edith Loring-Kuhanga (District Board Chair): eloring@sd61.bc.ca

— Jordan Watters (School Trustee for Esquimalt): jwatters@sd61.bc.ca

— Piet Langstraat (Superintendent of Schools): plangstraat@sd61.bc.ca
— Shelley Green (Deputy Superintendent, Esquimalt and Spectrum School Families): sgreen@sd61.bc.ca

 

School District Address: 556 Boleskine Rd, Victoria, BC V8Z 1E8

Thank you,

Macaulay PAC Executive

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