Monday, June 20, 2016

Class sizes & number of classes per grade next year at Crocker Farm

Letter from Principal Derek Shea:

Dear Families of 2016-2017 4th Graders,
As you may recall, with the superintendent’s support we added a third classroom to this year’s 3rd grade class. This allowed us to have three 3rd grade classrooms of 13-15 students.

Each year, our budget process for the next year begins in the fall. Our planning for classroom sections is based on both actual and projected enrollments.

The School Committee guidelines for class size are as follows:
· Grades K and 1 maintain 17-21 students
· Grades 2 and 3 maintain 19-23 students
· Grades 4, 5, 6 maintain 20-24 students

During the initial planning, and even up until last week, we were intending to have three sections of 4th grade for next year. However, in the past month, our rising 4th grade dropped from 43 to 41 students which would mean 13-14 students in each classroom.

The current 1st grade group (rising 2nd grade) has 44 students with 22 students in each class. In recent weeks, four new students enrolled in this grade level for next year. The rising 2nd grade enrollment has grown from 44 students to 48 students. This would mean next year’s 2nd grade would have 24 students in each classroom.

As an administrative team, Ms. Conklin and I have monitored these enrollment changes closely. After consultation with the central office administrators, we are planning to reduce the number of sections in 4th grade from three to two, and increase the number of sections of 2nd grade from two to three. As many of you are aware, our school is quite full in terms of space. Any change in one grade level has a resulting impact on another in terms of the number of sections we can offer. Crocker Farm can only accommodate 19 total classrooms, which is our current and projected total.

Current classroom configuration planned for 2016-2017:
Kindergarten: 2 classrooms
1st grade: 3 classrooms
2nd grade: 2 classrooms (possible 3 classrooms)
3rd grade: 3 classrooms
4th grade: 3 classrooms (possible 2 classrooms)
5th grade: 3 classrooms
6th grade: 3 classrooms
Total classrooms: 19

These are not easy decisions to make and we will most certainly continue to monitor the enrollment at each of these grade levels throughout the summer. At this time, we wanted to let you know that the current enrollment numbers necessitate this change. If enrollment were to change between now and the start of school, we will certainly let you know and make the necessary adjustments.

In addition, please know that we are working diligently to find ways to provide additional professional teacher support for a model of two 4th grade classes. We will be able to provide specific details later this summer. We will also monitor new student enrollment and have already been in touch with the central office administrators about limiting new enrollments in that grade level for next year.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please feel free to contact me and we will certainly be in touch as our plan develops,

Derek Shea