Gordon Greenwood Elementary school teacher Cathy Hughes speaks to her class. Langley School District is looking to hire 100 teachers under the Supreme Court ruling that returns class sizes to 2002 levels. Langley Times file photo

Langley School District to hire 100 teachers

Supreme Court ruling creates hiring frenzy, will add more portables to school sites

It’s a good time to be a teacher in B.C.

Langley School District is in the process of hiring more than 100 full-time teachers for the coming school year, confirmed district spokesperson Ken Hoff.

“Interviewing and hiring is already underway. It’s a good time be a teacher, for sure,” said Hoff.

But the process of hiring that many teachers creates a domino effect that it is challenging to organize.

“We may post a position that a current teacher is hired for, but then that person’s position becomes vacant and needs filling. It’s those kind of situations that make it quite challenging,” he said.

The effort follows a Supreme Court of Canada ruling requiring B.C.’s government to comply with classroom composition provisions from its 2002 contract with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

The maximum number of students allowed per class in Grade 4 to 12 will remain at 30, while the maximum in Grades 1 through 3 drops from 24 to 22 and from 22 to 20 for kindergarten. There is also a maximum of three special-needs students per class.

While many districts in B.C. are having to close in-school daycares, early learning centres and Strong Starts to make way for more classrooms, Langley will not.

“For the coming school year there will be no closures,” said Hoff.

While he didn’t name specific schools that will have to add classrooms, there will be many, he said. And that means more portables.

“While it is a positive that we haven’t had to close any daycares, we will be adding more portables, which not everybody likes,” he noted.

He couldn’t say how many extra portables the district is looking to purchase.

Another trickle down effect is that with more classrooms, more support will be needed.

“It will likely mean we will be hiring more support staff. The situation is quite fluid and we are working through it all right now,” he said.