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Students tip 'class cap'

Darcy Hines spoke after Banano and asked the board to "think about next year," and not make any hasty decisions, calling the large classes in a few of the elementary schools a "unique" situation.

"On a personal note," Hynes said, "I would hope you would not go back to multi-aged classes."

Superintendent Michael Tebbano told Hynes that the district does not plan to have multi-aged classes.

Tebbano said that, following a redistricting of students, the problem arises when new families move into the district and there is no way of knowing how many children will be going into each grade level.

"In light of last year's redistricting, in which the community went through a significant process to enhance neighborhood schools, Dr. Tebbano elected to go one over cap in five elementary classrooms this year," Leon said.

The larger classes in the district include one class of the Glenmont fourth grade; three Hamagrael third-grade classes and one Slingerlands first grade class and the district reports that the five classrooms are out of a total of 85 classrooms in the district for grades one through five.

The average class size of these 84 classrooms is 22 as of mid-September, Leon said, adding that the data will be finalized in the district's "Long-Range Planning Report," due later this fall.

Vice President of the Board of Education James Dering said he understands the difficulty of the situation.

"I'm sort of in the unique position of having a child in one of the large classes," Dering said. "I have concerns on whether the cap sizes are reasonable. What's the difference between 20 kids and 27? To me, seven kids seems like an awful lot."

Dering said just 10 minutes with seven students would take over an hour of the teacher's time each day.

Dering also expressed his financial concerns with the situation.

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