Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Policies
SECTION: INSTRUCTION Code: G14-R
TITLE: CLASS SIZE
K-8 Governing Rules:
1. The minimum and optimal enrollment numbers specified above is the average of all classes within the particular grade cluster
(a) Example: If there is one K class with 15 students, one K class with 17 students, one Grade 1 class with 19 students, one Grade 1 class with 18 students, one Grade 2 class with 20 students, and one Grade 2 class with 19 students, the average for this grade cluster would be 18, which is within the optimal average range for this grade cluster. (108/6 = 18)
2. Adding a class within a grade cluster or grade level will not be considered unless the maximum optimal average is exceeded for the corresponding grade cluster.
3. For purposes of considering class reductions in K-8 classrooms, the maximum number of empty seats per grade level shall be equal to the maximum optimal average for the corresponding grade cluster. The maximum number of empty seats is the sum of the difference between the maximum optimal average class-size for the grade cluster and the actual number of students for each class within each grade level. If the maximum number of seats is met or exceeded, the number of sections/classes shall be reduced.
(a) Example: If there are 85 grade 7 students and 5 grade 7 teachers, there would be approximately 25 empty seats (5 teachers x 22 student maximum = 110 total maximum; 110 total maximum - 85 actual students =25), which would present consideration of a reduction in the number of grade 7 sections by one class resulting in a class-size average of 21 (vs 17).
9-12 Governing Rules:
1. The minimum, optimal, and maximum enrollment numbers specified above is the average of all classes within the particular content area (or course for singleton, new, advanced, terminal or core courses). This means that some classes or courses may exceed the stated maximum.
(a) Example: In Social Studies, if there are two US History classes with enrollments of 17and 21; two World History classes with enrollments of 23 and 18; and three Elective classes with enrollments of 22, 20, and 16, then the average for this content area is 19.6, which is optimal for this content area.
2. If a course meets the minimum enrollment average enrollment stated in the chart, there is no guarantee that the course will continue to be offered. Courses and/or sections may be dropped as a result of program changes or budget restrictions as well a student registration outcomes.
3. Staffing levels during the budgeting process shall typically be done at or around the optimal level for each content area based on anticipated enrollment.
4. For purposes of considering class reductions, the maximum number of empty seats per core, elective or composition course shall not exceed the optimal average for the course. If the optimal number of empty seats is met or exceeded, the number of sections/classes shall be considered for reduction.
(a) Example: If there are 26 students enrolled in an English Composition course, one class would exceed the optimal range. Two classes would result in an average of 13 with 18 empty seats, which is within the guidelines. However, this does not guarantee that two classes will be offered – only that it is permissible. Other factors such as average class size for the content area and budgetary constraints will also impact the number of classes offered.
5. The Principal or his/her designee has the discretion of how many sections of each course to offer within each content area provided the overall staffing levels are within the budgetary constraints. However, Core Courses shall be given precedence over Elective Courses when it comes to section distribution.
6. The Board shall be informed, in advance, of the elimination of a course.
7. When two teachers co-teach one class (e.g., humanities), the class will be counted as two classes for the purpose of determining class size averages.
8. Proposed new courses must be reviewed by the Director of Curriculum prior to being submitted to the Principal for approval. The Principal's decision to approve or not approve a new course shall be final provided the provisions of this procedure are adhered to. Requests for new courses must be received by November 15th, with final approval prior to the development of the Course of Studies for the corresponding school year.
9. Increasing the number of classes offered in any course will not be considered unless the optimum average range is exceeded for the corresponding course.
10. In the event a singleton, new, advanced, or terminal course falls below the minimum, the course may be offered every-other year at the principal's discretion.
11. In the event the enrollment for a singleton course falls below the minimum for two consecutive offerings, the course will be dropped from the offerings in the Course of Studies.
12. In general, courses offered for a subsequent school year will be published in the annual Course of Studies, with the understanding that some courses may not be offered due to insufficient enrollment, budgetary constraints, staffing changes, or other administrative reasons. Furthermore, it may not be possible to schedule students for all courses sought, nor are there guarantees that schedule changes may accommodate students' changes in course selections or levels once met.
In addition to the class-size and course/content area enrollment parameters provided in the charts above, the following standards shall also apply:
1. Special Education: Federal law requires that each special education student receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). For this reason, special education services and programming are excluded from the average minimum and optimal class size ranges or course/content area enrollment parameters contained herein.
2. English Language Learners (ELL): Because of the unique characteristics of English language learners, English as a Second Language (ESL) services are excluded from the average minimum and optimal class size calculations.
3. Distance Learning Classes (such as VT Virtual Learning Collaborative): For purposes of calculating minimum and optimal average class sizes for distance learning classes, the total number of students and teachers at all sites shall be considered in the calculation.
4. Alternative Education (e.g., Walden): Due to the specialized programming and nature of alternative education, these programs shall be excluded from the average class size or course/content area enrollment parameters contained herein.
5. Drivers Education: In order to comply with the Vermont Department of Education curriculum requirements which calls for a minimum number of classroom hours and driving times, Drivers Education shall be excluded from the average class size or course/content area enrollment parameters contained herein.
For purposes of this procedure and corresponding policy, the following definitions shall apply to 9-12 Courses:
· Class – A teaching section (i.e., group of students being taught by a teacher during the same period/block) at the 9-12 level
· Course – All classes with the same title as listed within the Program of Studies (e.g., Grade 9 English, Earth Science, Geometry A, U.S. History, etc.)
· Content Area – A group of courses within a specific licensing endorsement area (e.g., English, Social Studies, Science, Math, Art, Music, French, Spanish, PE, etc.)
· Grade Level – The individual grade at the secondary level (e.g., grade 9, 10, 11, 12.)
· Singleton Course – Course in which only one class is offered
· New Course – A course in its first or second year of existence
· Advanced Course – Advanced placement, honors, or other advanced level course
· Core Course – A specific course that is required of all students in which students do not have a choice of options available other than level (e.g., Health, English 9, Integrated Math I, U.S. History, PE, etc.)
· Elective Course – Courses students may take in a variety of content areas in order to meet the credit requirements for graduation.
· Terminal Course – A course that is the most advanced course in a particular sequence of academically oriented courses. For example, in the French language sequence beginning with French 1 and ending with Advanced Placement French, the terminal course would be Advanced Placement French.
The parameters contained herein shall be used in budget development based on projected student enrollment. Actual enrollments and/or budgetary constraints may cause the maximum enrollment parameters to be exceeded.