RDHS teacher shortage keeping some students out of class

by Joseph Coppolino - EAP
RDHS teacher shortage keeping some students out of class
Rockland District High School saw an additional 50 students join the school for the 2023-2024 year resulting in a teacher shortage, over capacity classes and some students unable to register for certain required credits. (Photo : Joseph Coppolino)

A high number of late registrants for the 2023-2024 school year at Rockland District High School is causing over-capacity classes, even pushing some students out of classes needed for graduation.

According to the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), Rockland District High School (RDHS) received approximately 50 students more students from grades nine to 12 than  projected when staffing decisions were made at the end of last year, a 12-per-cent increase to the school’s approximate population of 400 students.

Skylar, a student at RDHS, said three of the four classes she registered for this year were over capacity by several students. The grade 12 student said she was unable to register for an English and a math credit she needs to take.

“We have had over 63 new kids join RDHS and we have 15 International students, and they are not able to accommodate anymore students,» according to Skylar.

RDHS Principal Stacey McCready referred questions to the UCDSB which said that they register all eligible students to attend school, “however, some students may not get their first choice of class on their timetable when they register at the school for the first time in the fall.”

School board communications manager April Scott-Clarke said the administration at RDHS is unaware of any students unable to access classes they need to graduate or apply for post-secondary programs, despite Skylar’s and several other comments made by students and parents of students on social media.

Scott-Clarke reiterated that RDHS has access to the province’s online learning program where all students can earn any credit they require.

“Our guidance counsellors work closely with all students to plan for pathways, ensuring access to required courses for graduation and post-secondary destinations in advance of their Grade 12 year,” added Scott-Clarke.

Skylar, however, said communication from the school and school board has been limited.

“They haven’t really said much other then that they can’t do anything,” she said.

The UCDSB assured parents that the school has the physical space required to accommodate the larger number of students and is working to resolve the issue by the end of the week, though did not expand on how the school board would support the additional need.

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