Greensburg Salem School District struggles with reducing class sizes
Greensburg Salem administrators will present a proposal to school directors next week on how to remedy large class sizes in elementary schools.
During a presentation Wednesday, administrators said 16 classrooms in the district's three elementary schools have 25 or more students in a classroom, including 30 children at James H. Metzgar.
“We think 30 in a room is too many,” Superintendent Eileen Amato told directors.
A tight budget has hampered directors' efforts to lower class sizes along with lack of space at Amos K. Hutchinson.
Last month, two parents who also are teachers in other school districts, questioned directors about class sizes at Robert F. Nicely.
Directors discussed on Wednesday various options to try to ease the class sizes, including hiring more teacher assistants and more teachers.
President Nat Pantalone pushed for more hirings.
“That's our job. That's the whole thing we do: educate kids,” Pantalone said.
Other directors expressed financial concerns. They believe the district will be in a financial bind next year.
Both Amato and Ashley Nestor, coordinator of elementary education, said they would love to have smaller class sizes. But there is a financial side to running a school district, they acknowledged.
“I'd give anything to have 19, 20 kids in a class,” Nestor added.
The district has tried to ease the situation at schools by using support personnel, she added.
Director Ronald Mellinger said all directors would like to see smaller classes, “but the only thing we can control is personnel (costs).”
He agreed 30 children in a classroom is too many.
Director Lee Kunkle said he would like to see any changes done consistently at the schools.
“What we do for one, we have to do for all,” he added.
Business manager James Meyer estimated a classroom assistant would cost $29,000 for the 132 days left in the school year, while a teacher would cost about $38,000.
Nicely and Hutchinson have two assistants; Metzgar has one after a resignation, based on the discussion.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.