Supt. Dan Schroeder reported on the research done.
"Assistant Supt. of Curriculum Kim Tucker contacted nine area school corporations," he said. "They try to keep grades kindergarten-second grade, in the numbers in the lower twenties. Once it is over 25, then they began to look at instructional assistants in the classrooms, which is what we have done."
Board members reacted with relatively the same sentiments.
"When I first came onto the board, one of the major concerns is to keep a lower class size on the lower grades, and if we had to have them, unfortunately, then in the higher grades," Board Member Terry Barr said. "In the last few years, I have seen that increase."
Barr went on to comment on the board examining the issue regularly.
Schroeder added the need depends not only on the number of students but the students that are enrolled in the classrooms.
"The administration looks at not only the number of students, but also other factors," he said. "Such as the number of special-needs students in the class and the size of the classroom. The principals have the latitude to place the Instructional Assistants in the classrooms where they feel are needed."
Schroeder went on to explain how some assistants in the past have been moved from the intermediate grades to the lower grades or moving teachers around.
Board members agreed to continue to work and have a smaller ratio at the lower end.
"I would like to see the administration step up, and if there is a struggle at the beginning and not wait," board member Tina Heffner said. "If there is a real need in the classroom at the beginning and we give them the Instructional Assistants, then things are flowing and later the teacher says that they don't need the assistants in the classroom all the time, then the principal can go from there."
In other news, the board voted 7-0 to accept the changes in language for retaking courses, seven new courses proposals, four course changes, four course cancellation, 16 prerequisite items and two course title changes.
"I am pleased to see the new courses in journalism," board member Dottie King said. "I know when my son decided to major in journalism in college, they asked him if he had any experience with the newspaper and he had none. So I think that this will open up a lot of higher education opportunities."
King continued agreeing with an addition of math labs that would be in concurrent with the algebra classes. The labs will help to prepare students for the end of semester evaluation that is taking the place of the ISTEP. However, she was curious how the students can take the classes because of the six-period day.
"The students will be able to take it," Director of Curriculum and Grants Kathy Knust said. "It will take the place of an elective which may possibly hurt the vocational classes. But it is necessary because many parents can't sit with their kids at night and help them with algebra."
The scheduling for high school courses begins January 2009 for the 2009-10 school year.