School year starts with slew of changes
Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:32PM ADT
The start of September means back-to-school and this year educators, students and parents are facing new challenges. Shrinking budgets, reorganization and new safety measures are all part of this new school year.
Class sizes have risen over the last couple of years by five to ten students.
“I think it’s a little bit shameful, the way that we are feeling that education is expendable,” says Halifax parent Bridget Quigley. “I don’t think anyone at this school thinks it’s expendable and I doubt any parent feels that way.”
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union says increasing class sizes are affecting the quality of education.
"There’s a lot of work that's done in a primary level now, than years before and in order to be able to do that and give students the attention they need, we need those class sizes to be smaller," says Shelley Morse of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.
There are also changes to speed limits in school zones. Where motorists were allowed to drive at 50 kilometres per hour, the speed limit has now dropped to 30 kilometres per hour.
“My kids both walk, they're 14 and 12, and this is a really busy street,” says parent Joanne Barkhouse. “Cars come off the MacDonald Bridge, sometimes picking up speed and coming through.”
Police are trying to raise awareness before they start handing out tickets.
“The plan is to be handing out information cards, just to inform motorists that certain areas around schools are reduced speeds," says Halifax Regional Police Const. Brian Palmeter.
In New Brunswick, students and teachers are getting used to the amalgamation of school boards.
“We use the term ‘the devil's in the details,’” says Heather Smith of the New Brunswick Teachers Union. “We know the changes that have been made, but we haven't been privy to know exactly how those are going to fall out."
There could be more changes still to come to the educational system in the Maritimes, with the number of school age children on the decline.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw