Hamilton public school board cuts 173 secondary courses

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board says 173 secondary courses will no longer be offered in the next school year due to increased class sizes, budget cuts, and declining enrolment.

The school board says the withdrawn courses will affect 1,453 secondary students who originally had selected one of the classes.

The cuts affect 14 program areas including the arts, humanities and family studies, Canada and World Studies and physical education.

Officials say out of the 173 courses that were cut, 115 had fewer than 10 students interested in the subject.

In a “typical year”, the board says the courses may have been removed anyway due to low enrolment with the exception of the specialized courses.

The students who were affected by the cuts received help from the Student Services department to find another course that fits into their timetable.

Here is a breakdown of the program area where the courses were cancelled:

  • 29 Arts
  • 11 Business
  • 31 Canada and World Studies
  • 11 English
  • 6 French
  • 2 Guidance Studies
  • 31 Humanities/Family Studies
  • 4 Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 10 Languages (classical and modern)
  • 8 Math
  • 1 Native Studies
  • 18 Physical Education
  • 4 Science
  • 7 Technological Studies

“As a Board, we want to be transparent and have open communication to inform our community of these course changes as we move through the budget process,” said Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board in a news release. “Trustees are concerned that as secondary class size averages grow, our students will be disadvantaged, potentially losing the courses they need or travelling further to receive them. We invite the government to continue to work with us on shared interests that will maintain class options for all students.”

Johnstone said contingency funds were redirected in an effort to protect as many courses as possies. As a result, she says 5.66 teachers were no longer declared redundant.

The school board says trustees are continuing to work through the budget process for the next school year.

The proposed budget will appear before the Board of Trustees for final approval on June 17.


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