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Inclusion Classes: What is the Maximum Class Size?

desksWe heard that some classrooms were being shuffled at Greenacres Elementary School to make room for a larger inclusion class, which mixes general and special education students together with two teachers. We were curious about maximum class enrollments and wrote to Andrew Patrick, the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development in Scarsdale. Here are his responses to our questions:

Q: I heard that the fourth grade inclusion class at Greenacres has been expanded to 28 students- is this true?

A: No. The class is at 26 presently.

Q: Can you clarify the district policy on maximum class size? Where is this policy detailed?

A: The Board does not have a formal class size policy, but has guidelines that are adhered to as closely as possible. The guideline is for 22 students in grades K-3, and 24 in grades 4-5. These guidelines were established by a district committee in 2001 (down from 24 and 26, respectively). This can, and has, been exceeded in two types of instances: 1) enrollment increases after the August 15 cutoff date for adding new sections; 2) special education classes operating in the integrated co-teach model (2 full time teachers assigned to the class) . The Greenacres 4th grade enrollment happens to meet both exceptions.

Q: For inclusion classes, does the ratio between general education and special needs students need to be 50/50?

A: The State guidelines for the special education integrated co-teach model cap the number of special education students at 12. We, however, try to stay at or above 60% general education students, and at or below 40% special education students (this class has been, and continues to be, well within that.)

Q: Were general education students added to the class to maintain the balance?

A: There were no special adjustments necessary.

Q: How large is the classroom?

A: I don't know the square footage off hand, but we are moving the group to a larger room for comfort.

Q: What is the staffing?

A: 1 general education teacher, 1 special education teacher, 2 teacher aides

Q: Do we have other elementary school classes in the district that exceed the recommended maximum number of students?

A: We have a Kindergarten section at Edgewood that is at 23 (also integrated co-teach).

The district sent out these two notices about enrollment and transportation for the 2018-19 school year:

Online Registration for Kindergarten:

The Scarsdale School District offers a registration system which allows parents/guardians to enter student information online. The registration window for incoming kindergarten students for the 2018-2019 school year will open on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, and will remain open through Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Children whose fifth birthday falls on or before December 31, 2018, may be registered for the 2018-2019 school year.

Before you begin the online registration process, please gather all documents for uploading. For further information about the documents that you will need and for access to the system, click here:

Enrollment in one of the five elementary schools (Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres, Heathcote and Quaker Ridge) is determined by the neighborhood in which you reside. If you do not know which elementary school serves your neighborhood, please call the District Registrar, Maria Miraglia, at (914) 721-2444, or send an email to mmiraglia@scarsdaleschools.org.

Transportation:

Transportation is provided to all students in the District to the District schools, and to schools outside the District, provided that the student resides within the Scarsdale School District and resides more than 1.5 miles from the school s/he attends, up to a distance of 15 miles. The distances in each case are measured using the nearest available publicly maintained route from home to school.

Applications for transportation to private and parochial schools for the following school year can be submitted online between February 1 and by April 1; new residents must apply within 30 days of establishing residency in the District. To request transportation, click here.

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