Class size of 39 10-year-olds! - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Class size of 39 10-year-olds!

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I recently went in to observe my fifth-grade son's class. There is 1 teacher, no teacher's aid or assistant, and 39 students. My son has a diagnosis of OCD and ADHD. My heart broke for not only the teacher but all these children who desperately need more acknowledgment from their teacher. For some kids he was calling on he did not even remember their name. Although the law "allows" this because we can cram 39 desks into one room so each student has a desk, I am shocked that our schools think this is the proper way to teach children.

I am reaching out to this community with any advice on where to go with my concerns.

I have spoken to the principal, PTA president, teacher union President, and an area administrator for the school board. Everyone wants to pass the blame and make different excuses for why this is ok. Currently, teachers are in negotiation for their contracts and it seems they cannot get a raise unless they agree to increase class size.

7 Replies

How do they maintain the spacing recommended by the CDC? Is it a huge classroom? Perhaps a call to your local Dept. of Health would force their hands? Good luck to you.

Not sure I have much advice, but I am shocked to hear that a class size that large is allowed. I am in Connecticut, and my understanding is that our state has set limits on class sizes. At the elementary schools it is 23, and if there is a class that needs space for a 24th student, the school is required to add a new teacher/classroom to keep all classes under the maximum size. Perhaps investigate if the state has limits on class size, and see if the school district has it in their policies (should be available online).

Quoted directly from the California Department of Public Health website, "Research shows that in-person classes can happen safely without spacing requirements when other prevention strategies, like wearing masks, are used. "

So there is no distancing requirement in CA schools as long as the kids are wearing their masks. However, research also shows that smaller class sizes are beneficial to children, but they chose not to pay attention to that one.

I thank all of you for your advice. If anyone else is dealing with this in California, please let me know. Thanks!

Interesting. I should have clarified that the class sizes I mentioned above had nothing to do with COVID. This is the standard maximums allowed for public schools.

I have been teaching in CA for over 15 years and have never seen that many kids in one classroom ( preCOVID and postCOVID).

There are many options for children with special learning needs in the school system. LRE- ( least restricted environment) is something that school pay close attention to.

I would suggest you (you may have already done this) meet with your IEP team and explain he needs to be in a smaller class with assistance to support his learning needs. If he doesn't have an IEP, did you try to get one? Or do you have a 504 plan?. You could explain how the issues he struggles with impact his learning.

If you don't have a plan yet, ease bring a letter to the special education office and request in writing you need a full assessment.

Hope this helps.

We are in Texas and my son has 20 in his 3rd grade class. I think they can go up to 24 here. Good for you contacting the school board. You should contact your state elected officials too. I believe in our state the Texas Legislature and Texas Education Agency set the standards such as class size that all school districts are supposed to comply with. Good luck.

toolkit.capta.org/advocacy/...

"State law in California currently sets a maximum class size of 30 in the early grades but also provides a financial incentive, within the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), to encourage local district to set a maximum class size of 24. California State PTA fully supports LCFF and local flexibility but urges all parties to stay committed to reducing class size."

I don't know how old this information is, but I have to agree with everyone else that 39 is excessive and can't possibly be legal.

I can understand exceptions, where two classes are rolled together for a special activity if is one teach is out sick, etc. Given that you spoke to all the people in power and they are all aware of this, then it doesn't sound like an exception. Talk to your state department of education in California.

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