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Board hears class size dilemma

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The hottest discussion at the Clay Community School Corporation School Board meeting Thursday was the improvements made in the all-day Kindergarten advancements.

Grants were received that allowed for some staff to be shifted into teaching positions.

The school system ended the 2007-08 academic year with 346 Kindergarteners.

"I am thankful for a full day program that helped these students. It made a difference and allowed us to spend more time with these kids to help them advance," CCSC Curriculum Director Kathy Knust said,

According to Knust, Clay County students enter into Kindergarten two-thirds behind the national average.

Sixty-two percent of the students entering into Kindergarten are below grade level in math, and 77 percent below in reading, Knust said.

By the spring, these students raised both their math and reading skills.

"The program has been highly successful and we are very proud of our teachers and students," Knust said.

However, Brad Rounds, Jackson Township Elementary representative, spoke of concerns regarding growing kindergarten class sizes and asked for the board to consider hiring a third teacher.

"The concerns of the parents are that we don't want our children to be left behind because of class size," Rounds said

"Larger class sizes puts pressure on the teachers to do their jobs and takes away from the students."

Meanwhile, the second reading of the Transportation, Classified Employee and Classified Administrative Handbooks was passed 5-0 to be included in the School Board manual.

The Superintendent's Report discussed the Access Indiana Grant that will pay for two complete classrooms.

According to the Department of Education's statistics of the per student average daily membership from 2006-07, Clay County spent $8,800 per student compared to the State average of $10,300.

"For the bang of the buck, our corporation is getting the best buy for the money spent," Board President Dan Schroeder said.

"The amount of money we spend per kid is one-third less then the state average. We achieve a lot more for less."

According to Schroeder, the corporation made sound decisions and has not been 'spend thrifts.'

In addition, a reorganization date of the school board has been undecided but will take place sometime in July.

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I hope Brad Rounds wants ALL schools with large kindergarten classes to have three teachers. Clay City's kindergarten classes were hovering at the 29 per class mark all year long from what I hear. So, I hope the school board uses equal treatment for all schools if they consider hiring a third teacher for Jackson's kindergarten.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 10:02 PM

Do all schools have 2 kndg teachers at this point? I think there should be an across the board approach to this so one school isn't shown favoritism over the other. Maybe if we pass this rebuidling project ALL schools will be on the same playing field! HUMMMM

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 9:08 AM

I have always been a big advocate for all day kindergarten and now it can be justified. I too worry about teachers being overloaded and overwhelmed with too many children in one classrooom. It is up to our school board to resolve this issue though. They have to realize the need and make adjustments accordingly.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 9:32 AM

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