Reduce the maximum class sizes for 3rd thru 5th grade in Andover USD 385 to 24 students.

Reduce the maximum class sizes for 3rd thru 5th grade in Andover USD 385 to 24 students.

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Cathy Wilcox started this petition to Andover USD 385 School Board and Superintendent Brett White

 

As parents we have concerns about the changes implemented a couple of years ago by the Board of Education for USD 385.  At that time they changed the class sizes from maximum students of 24 in 3rd thru 5th grade.  It is now changed to a maximum class size of 28 students.  

There are many reasons this is hindering the best learning environment for the students of USD 385.  

1. The classrooms are not built to hold more than 26 students.  There are 26 cubbies, shelves and mailboxes and when we go beyond that number, the last two students will be given a command hook and another place to store their books.  As adults we can discern that there isn't any ill will against these students, but can you imagine how a 3rd grader will feel on the first day of school that his/her position is not the same as everyone elses?   

2.  Each student gets noticed.  They can't hide and get left behind when the teacher can give plenty of attention to each student.  

3. Better Results - Research shows that smaller class sizes result in higher grades.

4. Learning is enhanced.  They learn faster and this means the class progresses through the course material more quickly and easily.  

5.  Teachers can teach.  Smaller class sizes give teachers more opportunity to actually teach.  They also have more opportunities to assess the class as a whole and students individually.   We don't want our teachers in the Andover district to be exhausted and stretched to their limits.  The teachers have just as much to do with this concern as for our children.  Their well being is very important to us. 

6. Classes will become more like a family/community where they will gain confidence.

7. More opportunities to participate.  Students get to join in discussions and express their opinions and thoughts more often.  And thus celebrate internal and external successes building their confidence.

8. The focus will be on learning  instead of dealing with lost attention.  And on those students who seek to get lost in the crowd or those who simply do.  On the flip side these students will be more easily identified.

9. There is more one on one time between the teacher and the student throughout the year.  Which includes learning time as well as developing a meaningful connection.  We know more than ever that bullying has lasting effects on students.  The mental health of our students has to be a top priority.  More one on one time with the teacher will aid in building trust and a stronger community in the classroom and will create better bonds between students.  This can only aid in preventing and stopping bullying.

As parents we hold Andover school district in high regard and value the education offered here, but we also feel that this change in class sizes in 3rd thru 5th is a detrimental decision for some important years of learning.  They are now beyond the younger grades and their learning is taking a step up.  These are the years  that will prepare them for success in Middle School and beyond. USD 385 is known for smaller class sizes and a private school experience in a public school setting.  That is why you have the families that have moved to this school district.  We know this is a budgetary decision but Butler County taxes are elevated more than any other surrounding school district.  And we feel like we are willing to pay this tax in order to have quality advantages like smaller class sizes.  As parents we still want to be here and a part of USD 385.   But we very strongly feel that the classroom maximum levels need to be returned to where they previously were.

 

source used https://www.ef.com/wwen/blog/efacademyblog/10-benefits-small-class-sizes/

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