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A Petition to Reduce Class Size at the Second and Third Grade Level at Whiting Lane Elementary

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A Petition to Reduce Class Size at the Second and Third Grade Level at

Whiting Lane Elementary

March 4, 2015

As concerned parents, we wish to bring to your attention a matter of class size at Whiting Lane Elementary School. This year each second grade class currently has 22 or 23 students in each classroom and the third grade currently has 23 or 24 students in each classroom. Did you know that other classes at Whiting Lane are as low as 17-18 students and the Kindergarten classes are as low as 12 and 13 students.

Study after study show specifically that class size in the younger grades plays a vital role in the education of our children. Class size impacts test scores, grades, attendance and dropout rates in later years. Smaller class sizes also aid in teaching children to stay on task and keeping them engaged in learning. The data and research is overwhelming that class size directly impacts the success of students. The smaller the class size, discipline among students improves, communication between parents and teachers increases, a reduction in the achievement gap among low income and minority students occurs, and there is an increase in hands-on learning rather than rote memorization.

Many of us had the opportunity to volunteer in our child's second or third grade class this year, and were able to witness first hand the extra time and attention required to manage these large class sizes. In addition, Whiting Lane has many exceptional students with a variety of social, physical, and mental needs that impact the flow and climate of the classroom. A class size of 18 students with 2-4 of the students having special education needs, autism, or other at risk characteristics, is very different than another classroom with 18 typical education students. Whiting Lane is a school with many of these special education students. Our numbers cannot be compared without this consideration.

We all chose to live in West Hartford, and some of us selected a home in the Whiting Lane boundaries, because we wanted to give our children the best education. We must stand up for them now. If we take the time now, we can help them in subsequent grades and well into the future.

Mr. Thomas Moore, Ms. Karen Kukish and our West Hartford School Board, we urge you to give our children the West Hartford educational start they deserve and reduce the class sizes of the present second and third grade classes. Many studies have shown that if there is a "magic bullet" that raises the educational achievement of children, it is reducing class size, particularly in the early grades. Make sure they have the “magic bullet.”



Concerned parents of Whiting Lane Elementary School

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