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  1. #1
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    Default The School Committee's class size policy

    The School Committee's Class Size Policy is available here. Note that this policy was put in place following work done in 1999 by the Class Size Task Force, of which I was a member.

    The prior policy set a three types of levels: number of students by grade at a "Target Upper Limit," a "Automatic Review Limit," and a "Add Teacher Limit."

    Target Upper Limit (old policy)
    - Kindergarten: 20, Grade 1: 20, Grade 2: 23, Grade 3: 25, Grade 4: 25, Grade 5: 25

    Automatic Review Limit (old policy)
    - Kindergarten: 23, Grade 1: 23, Grade 2: 25, Grade 3: 26, Grade 4: 26, Grade 5: 26

    Add Teacher Limit (old policy)
    - Kindergarten: 25, Grade 1: 25, Grade 2: 27, Grade 3: 28, Grade 4: 28, Grade 5: 29

    The new policy set a single level, "Add Teacher/Aide," while providing language making it clear that the School Committee was not bound to such an addition.

    Add Teacher/Aide Guideline (new policy)
    - Kindergarten: 20, Grade 1: 20, Grade 2: 23, Grade 3: 23, Grade 4: 25, Grade 5: 25

  2. #2
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    Default

    Copied from the "Should the School Committee be in the "override business?" thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    Did [the School Committee] take class size and makeup into consideration? ... There are a lot of numbers floating around out there, but I'm afraid the kids who need the smaller class sizes the most were not considered!
    Like so many aspects of education, class size is a trade off of educational value (often difficult to quantify) against available funding. Class size and the School Committee's class size policy were certainly factors front and center in the Committee's thinking.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    ... class size is a trade off of educational value (often difficult to quantify) against available funding.
    Let us never forget that the funding to keep three schools open and maintain smaller class sizes was available.

    The SC voluntarily chose to cut $300,000 out of the budget and close a school, increasing class size in the process. This was not done for lack of funding.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Let us never forget that the funding to keep three schools open and maintain smaller class sizes was available.

    The SC voluntarily chose to cut $300,000 out of the budget and close a school, increasing class size in the process. This was not done for lack of funding.
    These statements demonstrate a lack of understanding in how municipal and school finance works. Perhaps a larger override would have passed, perhaps not. To suggest that passage was a "lock," as you do, has no foundation in fact.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    These statements demonstrate a lack of understanding in how municipal and school finance works. Perhaps a larger override would have passed, perhaps not. To suggest that passage was a "lock," as you do, has no foundation in fact.
    Closing a school in what may very well be a failed attempt to save money, demonstrates a lack of understanding in the importance of effective communication, the importance of recognizing and maintaining community, class size issues, the justifiable uproar that would ensue, the fact that the costs associated with such a maneuver need to be part of the equation, a lack of foresight, and that gambling should not be part of the School Committee's m.o.



    What's a "lock"?
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  6. #6
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    Default What about?

    Jeff, I appreciate your response to the SC's thinking about class size while discussing the redistricting plan. You're right, it's still is within the guidelines. However, my point here is, the class size for the incoming 2nd and 4th grade classes at HH are at the guideline level AFTER Dr. Burton had asked some families to switch schools to keep the classes at 25 kids. It's fruitless to play "what if", but I have to ask about incoming children to our town? Where are they going to go? This question has not been answered.The enrollment numbers seem to not be low enough right now for this model. Loker had more wiggle room to play with. If you have to hire 2 support teachers if the numbers go beyond 25 per class...you could have added another classroom with 1 new teacher, but this option has been off the table since these kids are housed in the smaller school. This isn't just 1 grade level we are talking about..it's 2 grade levels. Why am I so concerned? I have an incoming second and fourth grader on the way. I think the understanding is that this plan has so many moving pieces that were not considered strongly enough for not only the 2008-2009 school year, but for the coming years. How is the enrollment going to decline after the 40B housing units go in? It just doesn't seem that this was the right year for this.. I see the "savings" as being so low for such a drastic change. Last time Wayland redistricted the schools, the enrollment was low enough to completely shut down a school. That's where the big savings is.
    I can definately go into philosophical reasons as to why a smaller class size is better. I can also write about what our peer towns are doing with intervention services for those who do not have their needs met in the classroom. But I'm wondering if Wayland teachers had their say on this issue?

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