Franklin School Parents Illustrate Crowded Classrooms
Students cram into Franklin School room in mock crowded class.
This month, many Bloomfield parents are worried about what their children’s classrooms would look like if the teacher layoffs forced students to crowd into shortstaffed classrooms.
A group of parents from Franklin Elementary School tried to find out. They gathered 28 first graders into a Franklin classroom. The results, they believe, are disconcerting.
Parents said the tighter gathering of students increased noise levels. Once they packed in enough desks to accommodate the students, they said there was no room in the class for reading carpets and bookshelves and that they were not certain where students and teachers could store backpacks and lunch boxes.
The parents also brought up safety concerns ranging from germs and lice outbreaks from closer proximity between students to dealing with fire drills and other safety procedures where students have to move in response to emergencies.
In addition to safety issues, parents also believe there will be negative effects on day-to-day education, saying that student attention from teachers/instructors would be severely limited. Also, parents believe that children would get less individualized attention, noting specifically that guided reading groups with an average of three students would increase to approximately seven.
According to information released by Bloomfield School officials, Franklin school’s classes were to be reduced from three sections to two for each grade. According to information presented by Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Jason Bing on March 12, estimated that the average class size for second and third grades would be 27 in 2013-2014. Population analysis has projected that Bloomfield schools will have more student as new housing projects open in the township.
On March 18, Bing announced that the school was facing a smaller number of cuts than originally projected, with the number of school staff jobs that need to be cut reduced from 98 to 54. It is not clear yet how this will impact Franklin School classes or staff.