Greensburg Salem parents worried about second-grade class sizes
Two parents expressed concerns to Greensburg Salem school directors on Wednesday about the effects too many children in second-grade classes at Robert F. Nicely Elementary School might have on the students' learning.
Research shows the formative years of a child's education and teacher-student ratios are important, said Robin Mattes and Kristy Hostetler, both teachers in other districts.
“We really do love it,” Mattes said of the district and school. “But our kids, in second grade in particular, seem to get a lot higher class sizes than everybody else.”
Both classes started the year with one teacher for 28 students, they said.
They requested another person be hired.
“We do want you to realize we're concerned and we are talking,” Mattes added, explaining she and Hostetler are representing other parents.
“We totally understand your concern,” Superintendent Eileen Amato replied.
Several factors have caused higher teacher-student ratios than the district previously had, she explained, including state funding cuts and the configuration of schools.
Administrators have put support personnel, such as a reading teacher, in those classes to help, she added.
And Nicely's second grade isn't alone, Amato said.
Overall, 14 classes in the district's three elementary schools have 27, 28 or 29 students in them, she said.
District personnel considered teacher-student ratios and other factors when organizing classrooms, said Ashley Nestor, coordinator of elementary education.
“With each of these we asked ourselves ... how is this going to affect our students,” she said.
Hiring a classroom assistant might be a solution, and President Nat Pantalone said he is willing to discuss it with the board.
But Amato pointed out the district probably would need to hire six other assistants to be fair to other classes and schools.
Business manager James Meyer estimated an assistant would cost $20,000 for the remainder of the school year, or possibly $140,000 if seven were hired.
Another possibility would be transporting some of the students to less crowded classes in other district elementary schools, Amato said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.