Parents Express Concern About Class Sizes at Mill Creek
Parents say some kindergarten and first-grade classes have 27 or 28 students. Geneva School District officials monitoring the numbers closely.
Two Mill Creek residents made pleas to the Geneva School Board this week to do something about the class sizes for kindergarten and first grade at Mill Creek Elementary School.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday's Geneva District 304 School Board meeting, Melissa Swierczewski talked about what she called "the bubble of enrollment" at the school and asked the board to consider creating a third section for kindergarten.
"This is bigger than just my little guy," she said. "I'm speaking to you about the big picture, not just my one student."
Swierczewski said there were 27 student in her son's kindergarten class.
"Even the most wonderful teacher—even that teacher will not have (a chance to succeed with 27 students.) There are too many little minds to engage under those conditions," she said.
"It’s these little students who will be representing District 304 just a few short years from now," she said. "Let’s continue that tradition of excellence."
Swierczewski said she was a former educator, so she knows firsthand how important class size is to a quality learning environment. She said 15 is the optimum number of students per class, and results decrease with every student over that number.
She said she understands that the School Board has to look at the big picture, but in this case, she said, "I discourage your from thinking big. Instead, think small."
Another Mill Creek Elemetary School mom told the board that her son's first-grade class has 28 students. She said the class went from two teachers to one with a shared aide.
"My concern is that my child is not getting the education that he needs," she said. "It is not acceptable to have 30 students (in an early-education classroom.)"
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Craig Collins said the district is seeing an increase in the number of preschool students. He said the administration closely monitors the enrollment numbers and will come back to the board for with a recommendation, "if we need to add or reduce sections."
"We didn’t anticipate this increase in preschool," he said. "We’ll have to see if this is a trend or a momentary blip."