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Superintendent Addresses Concerns About Student-To-Teacher Ratios

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez: 'We're just trying to alleviate people's concerns.'

Responding to parents’ concerns regarding increasing class sizes, district officials have addressed the matter recently.

“It’s not that there is anything abnormal heading into next year, we’re just trying to alleviate people’s concerns,” said Superintendent of Schools Ray Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said that just because a particular class size increases from one year to the next does not mean that the district will have to hire more teachers. It may, however, mean reassigning teachers to other classes or grades.

Gonzalez said that the district has budgeted for hiring either three or four teachers for the upcoming school year. Despite the preplanning, officials would like to make any changes with no increase to the budget.

Gonzalez also issued a statement on the matter:

“Regarding our district’s anticipated 2012-2013 teacher-to-student ratio and individual class sizes within our various schools, many complex, external factors come into play. Chief among these are economic and demographic considerations, both of which we review and address on an annual basis. This said, we will never place the students of Wayne Public Schools into any classroom environment and compromises their instructional and physical well being. Therefore, the school and district administration will work closely to examine our class sizes and make adjustments where needed in light of the instructional needs of the entire school.”

The state average for middle schools was 19 students for every teacher.

Student to teacher ratios

Click on each school to be taken to that school’s 2010-2011 report card.

Elementary Schools

Albert P. Terhune: 20.3

James Fallon: 23.1

John F. Kennedy: 19.1

Lafayette: 20.1

Packanack: 23.6

Pines Lake: 20.2

Randall Carter: 17.7

Ryerson: 14.7

Theunis Dey: 19.7

Middle Schools

Anthony Wayne: 23.9

George Washington: 22.8

Schuyler-Colfax: 24.5

High Schools

Wayne Hills: 20.2

Wayne Valley: 18.9

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Nose Wayne July 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Most of our classrooms had between 25 and 30 students in them. Don't see why 20 would be a problem. We all were taught the same and teachers were making half of what they make today. Go figure.
amanda m July 05, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Nose, Teachers are not allowed to teach using a one size fits all approach anymore. This is mandated from above. Every child must have the curriculum differentiated to meet their needs. The curriculum must be presented in ways that reach each child using different modalities of learning. I don’t personally teach in Wayne, but this is the trend in education. The days of presenting information to the group and then handing out a ditto are OVER. Regardless, studies show that a lower teacher to student ratio is better for learning. As a Wayne parent, I would not want my child in a class with 25 other kids.
eyes wide shut July 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Nose, how long ago was that? LOL
packamom July 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM
My children go to Packanack and I can tell you that there are way more than 23 children per class in the upper grades. There are different class maximums based on grade level. The 4th and 5th grade classes currently have 28-29 children in them, which is entirely too many. It's not so much that the teachers cannot teach that many students, but there simply isn't enough space in the classroom for that many bodies. I think it is ridiculous that our school stuggles with class size, while my friends with children in Randall Carter or Ryerson have 20 kids on average in each room.
Scondo July 05, 2012 at 07:07 PM
You can ask that your children be sent to Randall Carter and it can be arranged. Most people do not realize that they can do that. Do not take no for an answer, the worst case scenario is that you will have to deal with transport on your own, but you can have your child attend an alternate school if you wish.
Nose Wayne July 05, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Eyes,Many,Many,Moons ago.Amanda, don't NOSE what has changed since then, but everyone was on the same level and if you needed extra help, teachers were very happy to help anybody that needed it, even with 30 students in the class. With what teachers are being paid today to work 10 months out of the year plus ALL the holidays,don't NOSE what the problem is teaching 25-30 students. Went thru the entire Wayne School System and we are all edumacated!!!!! Packamom, did you grow up in town and go thru the Wayne Schools ? Been in Packanack and the classrooms are the same size as the ones I was in when I went to Preakness School (now closed) YES EYES,THAT LONG AGO!!!!
eyes wide shut July 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM
@Nose, so you did very well for your self in our school system. With 25-30 students in the class you came out very well, that says something about YOU and also says something about the teachers.. Long ago for me as well. Now my question is. What % has say the price of gas, food, utilities and taxes gone up in comparison with teachers salaries?? Think they are close or equal? NOT A CHANCE...
Nose Wayne July 07, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Eyes, not saying the teachers don't deserve the cost of living raises.YES ,they made half of what they make today, but the class size is what bothers me. LESS FOR MORE, we all learned the same with 30 students than what they want to do with 20 to 25 students. WHAT'S CHANGED ?
amanda m July 09, 2012 at 07:53 PM
It is not the teachers that have changed, it is the system. When I went to school there were "tracks." There was Special Ed, then A, B, and C. A was going to college, B in between, and C was probably going for vocational training. Those tracks are gone. Unless you are classified or in honors/AP, you are all mixed together. The norm is one grade level below and one above the chronological grade of the room. You need to have everything differentiated for the small groups of children that are then broken down in to homogeneous groups. Following a short lesson taught via direct instruction (teacher at the front of the room), the teacher then breaks the group into their different centers where each child is working on something that is geared not only for their academic level, but their preferred learning modality (auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and so on). The teacher should be circulating through the groups to individually assess the success or failure of each child while still managing the class as a whole.

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