The January 27 meeting of the Board of Education included a status report on
the Class Size Management Work group. The group has been working since the
summer to develop options to improve how the district manages and balances class
sizes across the elementary schools.
The work group includes parents, elementary principals Dr. Shireen Fasciglione (Hillside) and Debra Berndt (Birchwood, Van Antwerp Principal Luke Rakoczy, the district registrar, Transportation Department staff, and Interim Superintendent John Yagielski.
At the Board meeting, it shared its latest thinking on the issue by outlining a draft plan for elementary "flex zones." Flex zones are geographic areas in which there is more than one potential elementary school assignment for the purposes of balancing class size.
The work group believes that over the long-term, these zones provide a solution to this issue without disrupting current families. No students would be moved from their current school and siblings would stay together, under the draft plan.
"After months of studying this concept together, our group believes this has the potential to vastly improve our approach to managing class sizes without moving any current students or redistricting," Interim Superintendent Yagielski said. "Our work indicates that this concept can serve as a more sustainable solution to this issue by providing ongoing flexibility rather than abrupt changes."
Yagielski emphasized that the plan remains in draft form, and the group is very interested in community feedback. A public forum is scheduled for Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at Craig.
Here is an overview of how the zones would work, based on the groupâ€™s working proposal:
Following the February 11 forum, the work group plans to consider community input, make adjustments, and finalize recommendations for the Board of Education.