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Greensburg-Salem enrollment rises modestly

| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Greensburg Salem began classes this school year with about 50 more students than a year ago, the district superintendent told school directors on Wednesday.

A total of 2,926 students walked through classroom doors when school started Aug. 28, Eileen Amato said.

“We had a very, very positive start to the school year this year,” she added.

The district's official enrollment will be set Oct. 1 as part of reporting requirements for the state.

The number of students in classes in elementary schools are down since last school year, when as many as 30 children were in some classes, Amato said.

Over the past few months, parents expressed concerns to directors about the effects the high numbers could have on their children's education and the demands placed on their teachers.

In August, directors hired another first-grade teacher for Amos K. Hutchinson Elementary School and a physical education teacher at the middle school to ease overcrowding. Administrators had requested directors make the hirings.

“Our classes are full. They're not really overcrowded this year,” Amato told directors.

Most elementary classes have student numbers in the 20s, she said. More than 30 students are in a few classes at the high school, Amato added.

In particular, administrators had said they want to keep class size in the low 20s for kindergarten through third-grade classes.

Research shows that keeping classroom numbers low is especially important in those primary grades because a great deal of learning occurs then, especially in reading, they said.

There were a few “little glitches here and there” with bus routes, Amato said.

Ken Bissell, coordinator of secondary education, described the first days of school as running smoothly.

“We had no real problems the first couple days, even with scheduling,” Bissell said, noting scheduling often can present difficulties.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bstiles@tribweb.com.

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