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Consider class size

Dear Editor:Why isn’t there a third option being considered by the Aspen School Board to reduce the anticipated elementary school over crowding next year? In addition to considering trailers vs. removing out-of-district kids, increased class size should be considered. Class sizes is capped at 16-18 for grades K-2, 18-20 for grades 3 and 4 and 22 for grades 5-12. Small classes are a wonderful luxury for a public school – however I (and maybe the community) would like to review the research that prompted the board to mandate these numbers. This fall and winter I served on the Resource and Budget Allocation Task Force at the school. The 29-member committee composed of faculty, parents, and community members spent many hours reviewing all the facets of the school’s operation with the goal of reducing next years budget by $250,000. There were a few sacred cows that the board told the committee not to review – class size being one of them. Research indicates that kids learn better in small classes – but what is small for a public school? I doubt that there are many school districts in the country that mandate as low a teacher/pupil ratio. How about considering adding a few more kids to a class, when necessary, and providing the teacher a paid or volunteer aid. When I was the psychological consultant at Aspen Country Day School, class size was limited to 15 children in very small classrooms and it worked well. Parents pay a lot of money for that privilege. However, I question whether the educational standards of the Aspen School District will suffer, if due to expediency, class size is increased when needed.I hope the school board will consider class size along with the other options when seeking a solution to the potential over crowding at the elementary school next year. And by the way, let’s have a look at the research that led you to cap class size at the current level. Margery FridsteinSnowmass Village


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