This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hayes Says News Good on Elementary Class Size

Dr. Hayes has posted the final class size numbers on the Administration website, and the numbers look a bit better than feared last Spring. He also posted the following note.

Enrollment data from the first week of school show that the class size objectives set by the School Committee for the elementary schools have been met. By closing the McKeown School and redistricting the City's K-5 population, the Committee sought to achieve class sizes that were well below its maximum guidelines of 25 students in grades 1 and 2 and 30 students in grades 3-5.

The Enrollment Report presented to the School Committee on September 17th demonstrates great success in achieving those goals. Only the second grade at Cove has enrollments at the maximum. As a result, help from paraprofessionals will be added to help the teachers deal with those large classes.

9/22 UPDATE: Today's Salem News trumpets Class Sizes Stay the Same in Beverly at the top of the front page, in a move sure to bring out all the message board inhabitants in chants of "I told you so."

While the news is generaly good compared to everyone's fears last Spring, let's not forget that Beverly's class sizes were already the highest in the region. The story also adds the detail that there are 42 less children enrolled than last year. A good many of these, we know, have school choiced out, enrolled in private school, or moved to other communities, in part because of last Spring's turmoil.