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BSISD to seek class size waiver

October 10, 2012

Big Spring Independent School district officials are asking for a do-over, at least where state-mandated student-teacher ratios are concerned.

BSISD trustees will are expected to seek a waiver of the ratio requirement when they hold their regular monthly meeting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in the high school board room.

The state mandate, which applies to grades kindergarten through fourth, requires that school districts have at least one teacher per 22 students at each of the grade levels. But an influx of students this year has forced BSISD to exceed that ratio, particularly in kindergarten classes.

The district has 59 more students enrolled kindergarten classes than this time last year. Overall elementary enrollment stands at 2,163 students, up 121 from a year ago.

BSISD is looking for teachers to bring class sizes back into compliance with state regulations, but it is competing with several other area school districts in the same situation.

“We're still looking for (teachers),” Executive Director of Instruction and Personnel Anne McClarty said last month. “But it's a hard chore — we're in the same boat as everyone else. We'll probably have to wait for December and the (college) graduates who will be available then.”

The district also has had to shuffle teachers from one campus to the next — McClarty said teachers had to be transferred from Moss Elementary to Marcy Elementary to deal with increased enrollment at the latter campus.

McClarty said waiver approval is largely a pro forma exercise, at least for now.

In other business, trustees will consider:
• Personnel matters.
• Policy updates.
• District and campus improvement plans.

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