Class Size Models for Anticipated Growth

July 01, 2014

Thanks to the stellar work of our Admissions department, we are currently experiencing growth in several of our Children’s School grades. In response to this growth, we are adding a second teacher to the classroom in Kindergarten in order to maintain low student to teacher ratios.

Our second Kindergarten teacher Jocelyn “Jolly” Burke, will work in the same classroom with Libby Leachman and in partnership with Libby. Jolly will teach the Kindergarten class both as a whole and in small groups. The addition of Jolly allows our students to have the best of both worlds in the sense that we can capitalize on low student to teacher ratios that are a key part of the CSS experience and, at the same time, create a slightly larger social group. For this reason we will not create two sections of Kindergarten at this point. This larger peer group strengthens our classroom interactions, physical education, and drama programs, which thrive at a critical mass of students for optimal outcomes, including organized game play, dramatic exercises, and student collaboration. Core academic skills and knowledge will be taught in small groups by either Libby or Jolly, as each are fully qualified teachers. This development allows us to enrich the overall experience we offer students as we welcome a strong Kindergarten class to CSS.

For several years, CSS has experienced a lower than optimal enrollment while technically being overstaffed. Our restructuring this spring pointed directly to this matter. However, it is our desire to grow our school in a way that honors a tradition of masterful teaching and student-centered learning. The complexities of adding students and adding teachers is not always a simple process.

As we manage growth, next year CSS will raise its maximum class size in grades 1-5 from 16 to 18 students and from 14 to 16 in Kindergarten. At this point, we favor accepting quality students rather than placing students on a wait list in the near term. This is an intermediate measure to manage our growth from one teacher in one section to double teachers in the grade, and eventually we will climb to double sections. The process will work as follows; if student enrollment in any grade rises above these levels we will add a second teacher to co-teach the class. If enrollment in any given grade continues to rise we will eventually have two sections of a grade. Double sections of class grades in Children’s School especially offers the students the benefits of an increased peer group while also offering the advantages of smaller class sizes. Additionally, it helps with a healthy flow of students into our middle school, which works well at 30+ students per grade. With each decision we make or review, we will adhere to a triple bottom line that considers responsible use of our budget and optimal delivery of our educational program.

It is important to stress that CSS families can contribute positively to a dynamic learning environment in a few solid ways:   

  • return of your student’s enrollment contract and deposit in a timely manner as this helps us create accurate budgetary plans and timely staffing decisions
  • introduce mission-appropriate families and students to our admission office and encourage them to schedule a campus tour and learn more about CSS
  • be involved in your student’s life and with the CSS community

I look forward to meeting and seeing you all on campus during our Back-to-School events in August. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions. Thank you for all you do for CSS!

 
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