Lawton Public School prepares for overcrowded classrooms

Lawton Public School prepares for overcrowded classrooms

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The first day of school is now complete for Lawton Public Schools but some parents are already concerned about overcrowded classrooms.

Complaints started coming in yesterday as parents had the chance to meet their kids' teachers, and they learned about the number of children expected to be in the class. Parents brought up their concerns to teachers and principals, but were told the problem would need to be solved at the administrative level.
Assistant Superintendent, Barbara Ellis, said they still haven't collected the official student count from each school and classroom.  Once they get that, they'll begin the process of sorting out a solution.  Ellis wants parents to know they understand their frustration, but even a short-term fix takes time.

Ellis adds problems with overcrowded classrooms are common in the first few days of class, mainly because they don't know for certain if everyone who enrolled will actually attend until school starts. They primarily see overcrowding in the elementary schools.

There are official guidelines for what an overcrowded classroom is, and they vary by grade level. More than 26 children in Pre-K through first grade, over 28 in second and third grade, and over 30 in fourth and fifth grade. When those class sizes are too large, there are specific steps to follow.

"The first one is to add a class size assistant in the classroom to work with the teacher classroom, the assistant will be the extra set of hands or eyes they may need,
Ellis said.The second scenario is once we are over 6 students in the classroom, we look at adding another teacher", Ellis said.

Ellis says her primary goal is to meet the needs of students, and she wants parents to know they want to solve the problem just as badly as the kids and parents do.

"We don't want this scenario, any more than they do, but it does take time to figure out what that solution is for that particular problem", said Ellis.

Ellis said if parents have any questions or concerns about their child's class size or anything else they'd like to be addressed, bring it to the principal's attention first, and give them a chance to solve the problem before taking it up with the superintendent's office. 

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