Questions and Answers
These questions and answers are available in different languages.
What are the guidelines for Primary Class Size?
The TDSB, like all public school Boards in Ontario, is responding to the government’s pledge of smaller class sizes for the primary years – Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3. The goal is to cap 90% of these classes at 20 students by the 2009-2010 school year with 10% of those classes reaching a total of 23 students.
Why do some class sizes vary during the school day?
Some of our students access special programs for part of a day such as the Home School Program (HSP), Literacy Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP), and English as a Second Language (ESL) program. These students are not included when calculating class size for their regular program, as they are included in the count for HSP, LEAP and ESL programs.
Does the Ministry allow exceptions to the primary class size cap?
For 2009-2010, we are committed to fully complying with the Ministry’s mandate of 90 per cent of primary classes having a hard cap of 20 students or fewer and 100 per cent with 23 students or less. No classes may be 24 or larger.
What will be the class size in Grades 4 to 8?
In Grades 4 to 8, the Ministry's average class size is targeted at 24. The Province funds teachers in Grades 4 to 8 based on an average class size. This is a TDSB average and not a class cap. Using averages means that some classes will be above 24 students while others are below. Every September, TDSB schools look at class lists and may make some changes because of late enrolments or to balance class sizes. TDSB school staff will be fair and balance many factors when considering this process.
Will schools have combined grades?
Every year, there are classes that combine grade levels. Combined classes group children from consecutive grades into one classroom. Canadian research indicates that students in combined grade classes do just as well academically and may have greater opportunities for emotional and social growth than students in single grade classes. Schools will continue to look for ways to meet the needs of parents and children while respecting the class size requirements.
The Ministry of Education has produced a very useful brochure that answers many questions that parents might have about combined-grade classrooms. Read this brochure, now.
Will these new class size changes be ready in September?
We have worked hard to organize for next year with the numbers of students we expect to have and are hopeful that our classes will require minimal changes in September. During the first couple of weeks of September, schools will be assisted by Superintendents of Education and the Elementary Teaching Office to make adjustments and this will be done with as minimal disruption as possible.
What is the difference between a cap and an average?
A cap is the maximum number of students in a class and applies to classes Kindergarten to Grade 3, while an average for Grades 4 to 8 is across the whole school board, so some classes may be larger while others are smaller.