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Smaller class sizes for Cold Spring's 6th grade 2017-2018

This petition had 68 supporters

We, the parents of the current fifth grade class at Cold Spring Elementary, believe that our children should have the same advantages as their peers in other grades at Cold Spring. We respectfully request that an additional sixth grade class be added for the students moving into sixth grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

Currently, during the 2016-2017 school year, there are seventy-nine fifth grade students divided into three classes, thus placing the class size at approximately twenty-seven students per class.  Currently during the 2016-2017 school year, the fourth grade and sixth grade classes have average class sizes of twenty and twenty-one students respectively. 

Unlike our students in fifth grade, students in both fourth and sixth grades continue to have the benefits that small class size can offer.  According to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), small class sizes have a number of advantages, including but not limited to the following:

o  Students talk and participate more in smaller classes, making them active participants in their education.

o  They are much more likely to and have the time to interact with their teacher rather than listen passively during class.

o  Students display less disruptive behavior in small classes. This allows teachers to spend less time on redirecting behavior and discipline, leaving more time for meaningful instruction.

o  Specifically, teachers in smaller classes can diagnose any learning issues, track each student, and closely monitor their progress and learning.  This enables them to differentiate instruction in response to specific student needs.

o  In smaller classes, students spend more time engaged and on task with the work of the class.

o  Research also suggests that smaller class sizes can help students develop greater ability to adapt to intellectual and educational challenges (Bedard & Kuhn, 2006; Dee & West, 2011; Fleming, Toutant, & Raptis, 2002).

Again, there are currently seventy-nine fifth grade students divided into only three classes which increases class sizes to approximately twenty-seven students.  A fourth class for the 2017-2018 school year would put the average class size at twenty students, similar to the numbers of students currently in the fourth and sixth grade classes. 

 If these class sizes can be justified for other grades, we believe that moving forward they should be considered for our children as well.  Our children need and deserve these advantages and benefits as they enter a transitional and crucial year in their educational development.  Please do not short change our children.

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