Class size averages at Red Deer public schools are at or below the provincial targeted class-size averages this school year.
Alberta Education created the class-size initiative in the 2004/2005 school year, providing school divisions in the province with extra funding to ensure class sizes would stay low — particularly in the lower grades.
Piet Langstraat, superintendent with the Red Deer Public School District, said the district’s class-size numbers are the lowest since the implementation of the initiative.
Langstraat said the target for kindergarten to Grade 3 is 17 students per classroom and the public district’s average is 17.1.
As well, he said the district is below the recommended number in all of the other categories for the older grades.
The provincial targeted class-size average is 23 students per class for Grade 4 to 6 students, with Red Deer public schools’ average at 21.9.
For Grade 7 to 8 the targeted provincial average is 25 students per class, with Red Deer public schools’ average being at 23 and for Grade 10 to 12 the targeted provincial average is at 27 students per class, with Red Deer Public schools’ average at 23.8 students per classroom.
Langstraat said research shows that unlike in larger class sizes, where group work is more common, smaller class sizes allow teachers to offer different instruction for different students, allowing the individual needs of the children to be better met.