We’ve come full circle, sort of.
This post brings the conversation about the crisis in the BC public education on this blog full circle, sort of. I started writing and collaborating with teachers during the labour dispute in May which got pretty heated until classes were dismissed at the end of June. Now that kids have been back in school for about six weeks I was hoping to report improvements to class size and composition at this point but sadly I cannot.
This post then continues to highlight just how messed up the BC Public Education system still is. There are more students, fewer teachers and specialist teachers. Despite the settlement between the teachers and the Liberals in October, it appears as though class size and composition is worse than ever.
I suppose then, it’s up to us as concerned citizens, taxpayers and the good people of BC to continue to talk about this. Please help me spread the word and make sure you stay up to date on the real truth that is the crisis in BC public education.
[Tweet “@bcliberals Stop class size/comp from spiraling out of control. Fully fund #BCED and show you care #CSCMatters”]
Class Size and Composition in BC: 2014/15
What follows is a new list, similar to the one that was published here on this site in June 2014 before schools were let out for the summer and in the midst of the labour dispute. That list went viral withh over 20,000 views and thousands of shares in the course of a few days.
This list is equally shocking but in some ways even more so because as you can see the problems with large class sizes and underfunding for students with special needs is far from over. As more data comes in this list will grow. If you are a teacher and would like to include your class list, please email me at [email protected]
Class Size and Compositions in BC for the 2014/15 School Year
- Grade 4/5 – 30 students (15 of each). 2 students with full-time EA support, one has some hearing loss and significant developmental delays (working at a grade 1 level) and physical needs including seizures. Student is often working in the resource room on own program. Another student has significant hearing loss and wears hearing aids with an FM system that allows them to hear what the teacher is saying through the teachers’ mic. 2 LD students (one with behaviour concerns, and one identified as ELL). One student with unidentified learning concerns, and two others with very disruptive behavioural concerns. Support only provided for two hearing impaired students.
- Grade 2 – 23 kids, 3 ADHD, 1 possible autism spectrum, 1 ESL, 1 speech, 6 below-average readers, 2 behaviour students, Support – 20 minutes ESL / week, 30 SLP/week, EA support from time to time.
- Grade 2 – 22 students with no designated special needs, but 5 behavioural issues. Majority of class is ELL; however, only one reception which is an improvement over last year when I had five. One student with possible LD.
- Grade 3/4/5 – 22 students. 1 autistic, 1 CAPD (central auditory processing disperser), 2 ADHD, 1 undiagnosed but delayed student (grade 3 working at K level). Support – 1 EA for 90 minutes a day.
- Grade K/1 – 22, 8 “at-risk students” in Gr. 1, 1 sever behaviour, 1 undesignated MOD, 9 speech and language (5 of which are severe with delays, 3 years behind), 19 ELL (Aboriginal), 3 identified LD, 1 reading at grade 5 level (gifted), 5 requiring toilet assistance. Support – EA 2.75 hours a week, LIF = 40 minutes, 4 x week, ELL = 1 hour, 4 x week, LA = 20 minutes, 4 x week for 3 gr. 1 students, SLP = 2 x week for 5 most severe speech students
- Grade 4/5 – 30 students. 11 ELL students (one designated with nonverbal autism), reading levels range from non-reader to mid-grade 11. Two students undiagnosed, suspected developmental delays. One student reading at age 4 vocabulary level (4-5 years behind). This student will receive an IEP as they can not be assessed and evaluated at grade level. Support – full time support for non-verbal autistic child. 9 blocks of LA and ELL support split between two classes provided.
- Grade 4/5 – 28 students. One student cannot work independently, non-designated. 1 severe un-medicated ADHD, 1 CAPD, 1 medically coded student. Support – no support provided for first month of school, EA has now been provided twice a day for 75 minutes total.
- Grade 6/7 – 22 students, 8 Ministry designations (specifics not provided), 4 school-based identified, 5 ELL
- Grade 2/3 – 20 students, 1 severe behaviour, 2 resource designations. Support – CEA for mornings only (minus times out of room for own breaks/break coverage for other CEAs)
- K- 21 students, 4 designated students, 1 chronic health, 3 deaf / hard of hearing, 1 severe behaviour student, 2 serious anxiety students, 1 selective mute student, 11 ELL. Support – class receives 80 minutes resource per week.
- Grade 7/8 – 28 kids, 4 full IEPs including one modified, 2 dysgraphia (this is a learning difficulty that involves writing and speech), 1 needing scribe, 1 needing reader, 3 behavioural students; 1 FASD (pending), 4 students identified as below grade / age level. Support – 1 EA in academic classes only.
- Grade 6/7 – 30 students. 4 designated students (intellectual / behaviour), half of class is in reading recovery (this is a reading support program used to improve reading / comprehension, vocabulary), Support – no support provided.
- Alt. Ed (one block) – 31 students ranging from grade 8-13. 1 chronic health impairment, 1 austim spectrum disorder, 4 intensive behaviour / mental illness, 3 learning disabilities, 3 students requiring behavioral support, 4 of these students are in Ministry care, 1 student with psychosis, 4 students have criminal charges against them, 10 students addicted to drugs or alcohol. Support – one EA spread across 7/8 blocks of classes.
- Grade 10-12 (Life Skills) – 15 low incidence students, 5 high incidence students. 2 blocks of Life Skills with every student on an IEP (academic / behaviour). Support – EA support provided, but with ratio is not conducive to learning and improvement.
- English 9 – 19 students, 9 IEPs (2 Autism, 1 wheel-chair bound, non-verbal cerebral palsy, 6 LD), 1 ELL, Support – EA support for wheel-chair bound student.
- Socials 10 – 30 students, 4 IEPs (LD), approximately 12 students below grade / age level.
- Learning Assistance – 13 students. 11 students with IEPs
- Grade 1 – 22 students. 3 students with IEPs. 1 deaf/blind/tube-fed with full time EA, 1 MOD/ADHD (no support). 1 with ODD/ADHD/Post-traumatic stress with child care worker support and has been referred to Social Development. 17 ELL students, 1 aboriginal student. Support – LST support (10 – 30 min. blocks pull-out), 5 Early Literacy blocks (in-class/small group support) and 4 – 30 min blocks of LIF Teacher support.
- Grade 2/3 – 23 students. 4 designated students (one chronic health / multi-designated / runner), 3 intense behaviours, Support – full time EA for chronic health student, resource room / 45 minutes each day.
- Grade 3 – 24 students. 1 Aspergers/OCD/ODD/anxiety/severe behaviour, 2 gifted students, 1 student referred for ADHD testing, 1 student who attends school once a week as they are receiving reading intervention at district’s early reading success program, 1 speech and language student, one high level ELL student, one selective mute student, a set of twins however only one attends school as the other has a terminal illness and only attends during special occasions at school
- Grade 4/5 – 30 students. 1 down syndrome student, 1 LD designation, 1 mild intellectual designation, 2 speech / language students (both have difficulty speaking and enunciating properly), 1 intensive behaviour designation, 3 students referred for district testing, another 6-7 students who have shown struggles at grade level in comprehension and problem solving. Support – full time EA for down syndrome child, no support for rest of the class.
[Tweet “MT Share the updated Class size/Comp list and open the conversation back up. #CSCMatters #BCed”]
AB or FN
Children of Aboriginal or First Nations heritage that qualify for special funding
EA / SEA / CEA
Educational Assistants, both EAs and the same, however SEAs usually have some additional training in something (both usually provide direct in-class support)
English Language Learners (these are students where English is not their native language, they know very little English)
English as a Second Language (same as ELL)
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
These are students who are significantly above grade level. They have shown exceptional abilities in problem solving, comprehension and critical thinking.
Individualized Education Plan (these are plans designed to help students who have a learning disability, behaviour challenges, social/emotional problems, or chronic health problems), the plans are put together by the school-based team which usually consists of the teacher, parent, principal, LA teacher and others involved with the student
Learning Assistance (usually where students go to a learning assistance room, outside of their regular class)
Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of ve
rbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.
Learning Support Team
Ministry Designated / Identified
This means the students have been tested by the school district / Ministry of Education and found to be significantly below age / grade level in either academics or social skills (behaviours), or both
Speech and Language Pathologist (specialists who work with children that have language disorders, speech delays, language processing, fluency, auditory processing, spelling/writing input problems..there is a long list. Also SLPs help children who are learning English, or struggle with learning English)
Guest post: The data contained in this blog post was collected by Scott Susin, Mission BC teacher. Thank you to Scott for continuing to do the work on this project. And please, my dear reader, leave a comment and share this post with everyone you know. Let’s bring the focus back on this subject because clearly it needs our attention.
Photo courtesy of frankjuarez.