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Connie Keating is president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association. Image: Submitted

NBTA President Says More Planning Needed For Rising Student Numbers

By Tara Clow Nov 10, 2022 | 1:34 PM

An increase in student enrolment comes with both positive and negative impacts, that according to the President of the New Brunswick Teachers Association.

School Districts are dealing with rising student numbers this year, higher than anticipated. Anglophone East saw its enrolment rise by over 1300 students as of last month.

After three years of COVID, schools are now seeing all of the newcomers to the province. Students who have been homeschooled are also returning to the classroom, “This is a strain as we attempt to figure out where students are in their learning. We know from a particular study that was done most recently that students are experiencing higher levels of anxiety currently. Add those concerns, in addition to our already complex classrooms, and there’s a lot going on. When classrooms are filled to capacity, each grade level has a certain number that is allowed according to our collective agreement and when those numbers are maxed. It is very difficult to reach all of the needs of our students,” Connie Keating says.

She says New Brunswick’s growing population and its growing schools are wonderful problems to have, “But we need strategic investments and an all-hands-on-deck approach to solve the issues moving forward.”

Keating adds these issues couldn’t have been foreseen, but there needs to be a plan moving forward, “There are 10,000 newcomers waiting to be processed to enter into New Brunswick and some of them will be children into the system.  Surplus money needs to be invested immediately into these areas and planning ahead because we’re welcoming the students into our schools, but we want to ensure they stay.  There needs to be a good retention strategy for our newcomer families, but also for our teachers. There is a lot of extra that is done as a result of bursting classrooms.  So there needs to be a plan in place moving forward.”


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