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District: Clarksville combined class a non-issue

"The enrollment at Clarksville is not the result of a miscalculation, and it is not because of redistricting," he said. "Enrollment at Clarksville was slightly higher this year than projected during redistricting, and next year it's projected to be lower, so these numbers change all the time " it's not an exact science."

Gordinier did not return calls to expand on his written comments to The Spotlight.

The district held an informational session at Clarksville on Thursday, June 4, to discuss the situation with parents and make a presentation on multi-age classrooms, which Tebbano said was attended by 20 or 30 people.

Clarksville Principal Dorothy McDonald said she has a core group of teachers with multi-age classroom experience and that aside from this year, which doesn't have a multi-age class; there has been a multi-age class every year at Clarksville.

She said of six of her seven years as principal have been multi-age, and Clarksville has had 25 sections during that time. Tebbano said this year has been the only year Clarksville hasn't had a multi-age class since it opened in 1949.

"That is a tremendous amount of experience within this particular teaching cadre that are here at Clarksville now, and there's tremendous historical experience for all of that," said McDonald. "We're not reinventing here. We are highly confident in our ability to educate our children in any configuration."

Some of the parents have said they are not saying "no" to all multi-age classes, but that there should be equal multi-age classroom in all of the schools across the district.

The Bethlehem Board of Education will discuss the matter at its Wednesday, June 17, meeting at 7 p.m. Community members are being invited to attend the meeting and give feedback on the matter, Tebbano said.

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