Elementary Class Sizes
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We, the undersigned parents/guardians of Hampton Township School District students and Hampton residents, would like to respectfully request that the Hampton School Board add additional sections for other grades on top of the proposed current 3rd grade additions at the elementary level.
The current Poff Elementary Second Grade cohort, for example, is split into two classrooms. The sizes of those classes are each 27 students -- a number that is beyond what was considered “large” for class size in large-scale studies. Those studies, Tennessee’s Project STAR and Wisconsin’s SAGE, classified “large” classes as 20-25 (Class Size and Student Achievement, CenterforPublicEducation.org).
While we appreciate the push for a one to one ratio with students and technology, we feel that this initiative cannot be effective with these large class sizes, nor should it be pursued at the sake of genuine interaction with teachers. STEAM projects require extra time to design authentic learning activities as well as classroom space to move around- both of which would be enhanced by adding a fourth section.
Supporting lower class sizes now will not only have a positive impact on next year’s elementary students, it is shown to positively influence the following years. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach wrote in her brief for the National Education Policy Center that “The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long-run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future,” (3)
We urge the school board to consider writing more specific policy to limit class size, and move to add more staff, particularly at the elementary level where the foundation of learning is being laid.
“Class size and student achievement: Research review. http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org Accessed 15 March 2017.
Whitmore Schanzenbach, Diane. “Does Class Size Matter?” http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/pb_-_class_size.pdf Accessed 15 March 2017
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