Weatherford Democrat

September 24, 2013

Aledo ISD to seek class-size waivers


Weatherford Democrat

— By JUDY SHERIDAN

Despite hiring nine new elementary teachers in the last two years, Aledo ISD still needs to apply for 16 class-size exception waivers this fall, Deputy superintendent Lynn McKinney reported to the school board last week.

Administrators are seeking the waivers — required by the state when kindergarten through fourth-grade classrooms exceed a 22:1 student/teacher ratio — for two third-grade classrooms at Coder Elementary, three third-grade classrooms at McCall Elementary, four third-grade and four fourth-grade classrooms at Stuard Elementary and one third-grade and two second-grade classrooms at Vandagriff Elementary.

Most of the classrooms exceed the ratio by one student, McKinney said, though some are over by two.

Aledo ISD trustees approved 14 waivers in 2011-12, McKinney said, and six in 2012-13.

The state does not require waivers for older students, she said, but class sizes are monitored across the entire district, and principals work diligently to try to balance class size.

The average class size for sixth graders at McAnally Intermediate is 27 or 28, she said, the same as it is for middle school and high school students.

Superintendent Dr. Derek Citty told trustees they could adopt a resolution authorizing the administration to seek waivers during the school year — up to a maximum of 24 — and notify them in writing instead of asking for their approval in a board meeting.

He said it would be an opportunity to take it off the agenda and allow administrators to work in a more timely fashion.