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Thursday, May 26, 2016
Hewitt parents turned down
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Trustee John O’Shea took issue with parents’ accusations that the board had manipulated the situation to avoid adding teachers. “We offered a solution that we all thought was a sound solution to some issues in the district,” O’Shea said. “It was the parents’ choice to move their children. You’re blaming us for a parent saying, ‘I want to take my child from here and put them here’?”

Johnson explained the district’s policy on class sizes. Once a class adds a 26th student, he said, the administration will meet with school staff to discuss options. There are mainly two, Johnson said: splitting the class or adding a teaching assistant. The T.A.s the district hires are all certified teachers, and it adds them only if it is deemed necessary because of enrollment numbers or if there are students from the district’s special education Inclusion Program in the class. Two of Hewitt’s three kindergarten classes will have T.A.s.

“Throughout the district, if a class has 25 students in the elementary schools without an inclusion, how many staff do we have? One teacher,” O’Shea told the parents. “That’s the policy of the Rockville Centre School District.

“You’re wanting us to make a different choice at Hewitt than we do at every other school,” he added.


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Mr. O'Shea is neglecting to mention the fact that EVERY other kindergarten class in the district averages 19 or less students. It is nothing special that Hewitt parents are seeking, rather to be in line with the rest of the district. The offer to allow transfers placed parents in the difficult position of overcrowding vs busing away. For those parents, I do not fault them, but for the district to act as if this were anything less than a desperate move is wrong. The Board describes their policy as their excuse. This policy should be a guideline, and in the case of putting 23-25 kindergarten kids in 1 class- a red flag. The "working session" excuse is another example of the Board avoiding their responsibilities. They knew this was a hot topic and chose to avoid the scrutiny. This is a school district, not a private company.

Friday, September 6, 2013 | Report this

Why is this such an issue? I have four children currently in three different levels of education (the oldest is 22). She had a kindergarten class of 30. The first grade class was 35. I looked back at my kindergarten class photo from 1972 and we had 33 students (some may have been absent - and it was only morning kindergarten). I graduated from the University of Chicago, and all of my oldest child graduated from the University of Maryland. I believe the class size controversy is highly overrated.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | Report this

Tarleton20 - A lot has changed since 1972. I am happy that your family is doing so well. I am also happy for you in your college achievments-relevant? A simple question is , would you prefer your child to have 18 kids in their kindergarten class or 24/25? We are not talking about comparing different states or eras, we are talking about the same school district. Why should we have these significant differences? I think you are being insincere by saying class sizing is highly overrated. I am sure there are studies with pros/cons- but it seems fairly obvious that a teacher educating 33% more children will have a tougher time attending to those children.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Report this
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