'I wish my class was this big': Teachers support Opposition push for class size limits
EDMONTON -- The Opposition New Democrats resumed their criticism of Alberta's back-to-school plan on Tuesday by setting up a mock classroom to demonstrate what they say will be difficulties in social distancing.
"I wish my class was this big," said teacher Renee Englot.
"Mine is significantly smaller and my lists for the fall are up to 35 junior high students."
Teachers say the demonstration showed the return-to-school rules won't permit for proper COVID-19 safety precautions.
"It is impossible to physically distance in a classroom without a cap on class size."
The province announced in July that classes would resume with full classes and additional health measures, including mask wearing.
Other protocols include:
Organizing classrooms to allow for more physical space
Creating cohorts of students when possible
And creating a "no share" policy for supplies
Previously, Premier Jason Kenney has said he is proud of his government's return-to-school plan.
"The return of more than 750,000 students to near-normal learning in the new school year is indicative of Alberta’s continued recovery as we work to relaunch our economy and return to our regular everyday lives,” he told reporters while announcing the plan on July 21.
The government's plan doesn't include limits on class sizes, something the NDP would like to see capped at 15 students, similar to Ontario.
The province has said such a hiring spree isn't realistic and that it remains in constant communication with school officials while insisting its plan will safely return students to the classroom.