JCPS officials say small class sizes creating capacity issues - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS officials say small class sizes creating capacity issues

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Small class size caps at 11 public schools could soon be on the chopping block.

Last year, JCPS eliminated the optional program at 10 elementary schools and one middle school, but allowed those schools to keep their financial resources for those classes. At a school board meeting Monday night, officials said the smaller class sizes are creating capacity issues.

Now the district is considering no longer funding them in the 2015-16 school year. According to JCPS, the district spends a total of $3.3 million annually to fund small class size initiatives at its schools.

"Obviously no one wants to invest in strategies that aren't effective," said JCPS Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dewey Hensley.

Hensley stresses that discussions are in the early stages. He says they are waiting for data before moving forward.

"In about a month we'll dig deeper into what the adequate study says about that issue and a lot of others until we come to a conclusion about what direction we are going to go," Hensley said.

Breckenridge/Franklin Elementary principal Allyson Vitato says the school benefits from small class sizes. 

"It allows us to individualize instruction at a much greater depth," she said.

Vitato says she is already getting calls from concerned parents.

"They're upset," Vitato said. "It's because they know the impact it has had on their child and they know what a benefit it has been to this school."

Vitato says she understands the board has a job to do, but hopes it will consider other factors such as safety and a sense of belonging before making a decision.

"I think I speak on behalf of my entire staff and school community when I say we firmly believe in this approach and feel it is working for us and our students," she said.

Hensley says the study will come out next month. 

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