To reduce size of classes, Manchester moves teachers, kids today
Superintendent Debra Livingston had proposed the plan to address crowding in two dozen classes in the elementary schools. Under state standards, the maximum size for kindergarten through grade three classes is 25 students; it’s 30 students in grades three and above.
“This is not the optimal way to maintain a balance of class sizes, particularly with the fragility of a young child,” he said. “It’s not a decision we came to easily, but we needed to change the way things happened in the past, in light of there being no additional funding to add personnel.”
Erika Connors, Ward 8, praised Livingston’s approach to the problem. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen somebody start thinking outside the box a bit. In the past we heard we don’t have the funding, so we can’t,” said Connors. The plan also had to be coordinated with the city teachers union, the Manchester Education Association. Ryan said MEA President Ben Dick was accommodating. “I like to look at this as a really good step in the right direction, everybody working on the same page to make the district a better place for kids, particularly during negotiations,” he said.
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