Class size, enrollment, and congratulations at the November board meeting

Lauren Grimaldi, News Editor

Class sizes, enrollment projections, and the budget dominated the November 12 school board meeting.  For the 2014-2015 school year the board has come up with the projection that there will be 1578 students enrolled at RB, up 63 students from the 1515 enrolled this year.  RB is slowly becoming a larger school.  In response to this increase in enrollment, the board hired approximately four teachers to the staff for this year.  There are now the equivalent of 90 full-time teachers, up from last year’s 85.90. Compared to the 1515 that are enrolled this year RB is slowly becoming a larger school. In addition to an increase in enrollment, the school added about four teachers to staff for this current school year. There are now about 90 FTE staffers an increase from last year’s about 85.9.  This reverses a recent trend where the board had to lay off teachers with cuts occurring after the failure of the 2011 operating fund referendum.

An increase in enrollment brought up the issue of class size at the board meeting.

In documents presented to the board, Superintendent Kevin Skinkis indicated that the average class size for the entire school, when weighted for department sizes, is 28.5.  Other parts of the documented showed that classes which were supposed to run at 30:1 had an average of 27.85 students per class.  However, that number was reached by calculating an average of averages without recognizing that some departments are larger or smaller than others.  The same average of averages technique was used for 25:1 classes and 40:1 classes.

When reached for comment, Assistant Superintendent Kristin Smetana who helped prepare the documents noted that, while the overall number of 28.5 is accurate, the average of averages approach does not produce an entirely accurate number for the more detailed numbers.  Since the overall number and the individual department averages were correct, Smetana indicated that administration did not think it necessary or worth the labor and time involved to correct the lower levels of the documents.

The board meeting wasn’t all business, however, as the board members congratulated the Girls’ Cross Country team’s venture at the State competition. Class 2A Champion Mallin Struck was also honored.