The unique thing about education is that, if you’re reading this, it means you’ve likely gone to school. That school might look like a wide range of things, but you participated in some kind of formal education. You have experience (and opinions) about what school looks like, what teaching looks like, and the pros and cons of all kinds of educational ideals.
Think about the idea of class size for a moment – what comes to mind? Do you have memories of Kindergarten or early grades, spending time on the carpet or drama centre with a few close friends? Or perhaps you remember high school…sitting in rows with 25, 30, even 40 peers around you. Whatever it is you remember, your class size likely had a huge impact on your academic success and your sense of community that you felt at school.
Let’s crunch some numbers
- According to the Government of Ontario’s Education Act, the maximum number of students permitted in a JK & SK class is 29.
- BUT…each school board is permitted to have an additional 10% of their Kindergarten classes exceed that number to a maximum of 32.
- Grades 1,2 & 3 are limited to 23 students.
- Grades 4 to 8 classes must have an average class size of 24.5…which means a given class can exceed that number (27…28 students?) as long as the other classes are small enough to offset the average.
So what does this mean for your child?
In Kindergarten, they might find themselves in a class of 29-32 children. Even with a great teacher and ECE, that’s a lot of little 4- and 5-year olds running around!
In Grades 1 to 3, a class of 23…which is a reasonable number, though not without its challenges for teachers as core skills are taught and students need smaller groups and intervention to keep up with such important learning.
Beyond that, it’s the wild, wild west…with class sizes anywhere from 20 to 30.
This is not a criticism of the public system, or teachers, or principals. It’s a tough system to navigate, with substantial needs and limited resources.
What about private school?
It would be a whole blog post in itself to explore the various class size options in Toronto’s private schools. OurKids describes class sizes for some of Toronto’s main private schools, which range from 16 to 20 students. Toronto has some fantastic private schools, but the price points far exceed what Jewish Day Schools cost…and well, there isn’t much Jewish education in these schools.
Class size is really much more than a number. It represents how widely spread resources are for your child, including teacher attention, feedback, parent communication, assistant and resource teacher attention, and so much more.
Our next blog post will dive deeper into how class size affects the dynamics in the class, and how Lamplighters Academy will utilize its own small class sizes in order to best meet the needs of our students.