Nashua makes strides in reducing classroom crowding
Still, Haas, who chairs the BOE’s Human Resources Committee, feels the district has made significant progress in reducing class size.
For the 2012-13 school year, the average class size for grades one and two through the state was 17.8 students. Last year, Nashua had an average of 20.7 students in first-grade classes and 20.9 in the second grade.
Last year’s state average for grades three and four was 19.3 students while Nashua’s averages were 22 and 22.3. This year, Nashua’s grade three class size averages are expected to drop to 21.1 while grade four is projected to be 21.4
But board member Sandra Ziehm saw a different problem in the numbers. Students with special needs who spend time in both traditional classrooms and special programs are not included in class size averages. When those students are figured in, fourth-grade classes at Birch Hill School would have an average of closer to 26 students while first-grade classes at Amherst would average close to 23 students.
But Superintendent Mark Conrad said it would be a mistake to do that math. Conrad said students with intensive needs and or emotional handicaps spend limited blocks of time in traditional classes, and because of their schedules, they are there at different times.
“The average elementary class size in Nashua is 22.5,” he said.
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