Cary Class Sizes Raises Questions From Parents
Cary School District 26 will see some elementary classrooms increase from 24 to about 35 per class.
The Cary School District 26 committee of the whole and the community engagement committee met Monday night to discuss summer school, grant writing, the climate survey data but class sizes dominated much of the conversation.
Committee meetings are designed for community members to ask questions and board of education members will often respond, giving the community an opportunity to have a dialogue.
During the committee of the whole meeting, community member, Stephanie Schaefer, raised concerns about class sizes for first graders, students who may need individual attention and the time it takes teachers to accomplish a certain task in the classroom.
She asked, "When are we going to see the plan to bring these class sizes back down again?
"I don't think anybody here like the class sizes where they're at," said Superintendent Brain Coleman. "We're all educators, we all know how important the class size is."
Coleman added, "It's not something that we chose to do, it's something we've been driven to, I feel in order to balance our budget."
The district is under budget constraints, and Coleman pointed to other school districts, that during financial crisis situations, they look to class size is.
"That's the last thing this board looked at because we cut a number of things out of the budget even before this year," Coleman said of increasing class sizes in the district.
Schaefer, who will be sending her four-year-old to Three Oaks next year, asked has the district considered redistricting?
"We try to redistrict based on the neighborhood," Coleman said. "You want to keep the neighborhoods together, going to the same school."
He added, "This neighborhood may come with a lot of third graders but not very many kindergartners-so that poses a problem."
Once revenue is available, the superintendent said their goal is to lower class sizes.
Coleman said alternative options may be utilized, including parents who are willing to send their child to another school, if they have a high class size.