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Class Size – New Normal or Bump in the Road?

September 25, 2019

One of the issues that has been a hot topic within our community this fall is the issue of class size. Facing an ongoing budget shortfall (related specifically to our general fund), we looked to reduce sections as we developed our budget for the 2019-2020 school year. Unfortunately, enrollment forecasting is more of an art than a science.

The one question that has come up that I do want to clearly answer is related to the issue of, “Is this the new normal or bump in the road?”  I can answer that clearly – this is not the new normal. While our budget issues are not solved, we are working on a variety of short and long term strategies to reduce class sizes back to our targeted areas. 

As we started the school year on August 26th we had several sections – specifically some second grade and third grade sections that were above our 2016 class size task force target ranges. (We are still within our contractual max range in our collective bargaining agreement.)

The reality is balancing the budget and providing the best possible education for our students is almost always a series of trade-offs and priority discussions.  For example, we have Instructional Design positions that support our teachers K-12. They offer a variety of professional learning opportunities, as well as, purposeful coaching support for teachers. We have identified these as critical to supporting our teachers and therefore did not look to shift those roles to classroom teachers and lower classes in a couple areas.

We will be discussing the issue in greater detail at the Tuesday, October 22nd Board of Education meeting at Liberty School.  The meeting is held in the Boardroom at 6:30pm.

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