Classes reshuffled after District approves extra teacher
Two weeks into the school year, classroom organization at Gabriola Elementary School has been finalized. The student population had increased by four students over last year, up to 174 students. School District 68 was projecting 167 students at GES for 2012-13 and planned classrooms with that number in mind.
“Due to an increase in enrolment we have gained a new division and our classes have been reorganized,” said GES principal, Eileen Jubinville. “Our students will benefit from the smaller class sizes as all of our classes have 24 students or less. The students moved into their classes [Friday] afternoon.”
There were initially seven divisions at the beginning of the school year, the same as last year. On Friday of last week (week 2 of the school year), many students were in tears on the school grounds after learning they had been assigned new teachers and classmates than they had at the end of week 1. Parents were equally upset about the late shuffle, particularly that they were not given prior notice.
The reorganization is expected to be on the agenda for Monday night’s PAC meeting at GES, the meeting starts at 6:30 pm.
SD68 communications director, Donna Reimer, said the seven new students “made the staffing tight ... created some less than desirable splits and created a situation where there would not be room to accommodate a single other student in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7. Since Gabriola is unique in that any new students during the school year could not be sent to another school, the decision was made to add another division.
“We recognize that moving students into different classrooms after they have started the school year is difficult. It is a balancing act between getting students into classes as soon as possible while trying to avoid having to move them later.”
As it stands now, a new teacher has been hired and the Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes are no longer split. The eight divisions are Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grades 2/3, Grades 3/4, Grades 4/5, Grades 5/6 and Grades 6/7.