|Thank you to the East Longmeadow Parent Leaders who recently collected 800 signatures in an effort to encourage the school committee to fund two additional fifth grade teachers. As parents of a fourth grade child, these efforts are greatly appreciated.|
Along with the thoughtful comments made by Tim Bates (spokesperson for the group of parents) at the recent School Committee meeting, there are two additional points we hope that the School Committee will consider:
1. The School Committee and superintendent have cited the need for smaller class sizes as one of their key selling points for every capital facility project (i.e.., new buildings, new classrooms, etc.) that they have recommended for funding in recent years.
2. "Maintaining a favorable student-staff ratio." is Goal #2 of the East Longmeadow Public Schools Strategic Goals.
Given these points, why is the incoming fifth grade not a priority when it comes to class size? We now have the classrooms; it's time to add the teachers and reduce class size. Classes with 27 children do not serve the educational needs of the children of East Longmeadow. Correcting this situation needs to be a priority.
We strongly urge the School Committee to reconsider their positions, revisit the budget, and fund two additional fifth grade teachers.
Karen and Tom Byrne