Langley trustees concerned over quality of education in crowded classrooms

Required courses, including math 10 and science 10, bursting at the seams in some Langley schools

Langley trustees have expressed concerns about what kind of learning environment can be offered when required academic courses have more than 30 students in them.

At the board of education meeting on Tuesday, a report showed that there were 24 high school classrooms with more than 30 students this year. Four have been brought into compliance.

The majority of those packed classes are for provincially required courses such as math 10 and science 10.

“I have concerns with the learning conditions for a math 10 class of 34 students at Langley Fundamental School and 36 students in pre-calculus at DW Poppy,” said trustee David Tod, who is a teacher in Abbotsford.

“You would have to be a miracle worker to pull that off.”

“How many of those kids have failed math 10 and are back again?” asked trustee Rosemary Wallace.

“I worry about kids falling through the cracks,” said trustee Alison McVeigh.

Trustee Shelly Coburn pointed out that studies have shown that students who fail math 10 almost never graduate.

McVeigh said maybe the whole story isn’t being told and there may be a teacher’s assistant in those larger classrooms.

“We need an update on how big classes are being supported,” said McVeigh.

The district said it is working on balancing out the large classes, but in the case of DW Poppy, there is only one pre-calculus course offered at the school, so that is why it is so full.

Under fairly new legislation, teachers are financially compensated when classrooms exceed 30 students.