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Class Size Policy (policy IIB)

The School Committee recognizes the importance of having policies to govern many aspects of the schools' operation, such as classroom instruction, teaching techniques, staff utilization, and student behavior. Accordingly, it is appropriate for the School Committee to adopt a policy on class size that takes into account the various conditions relating to effective learning. However, it must be noted that strict uniformity in class sizes is not a goal; average class sizes in the Wayland Public Schools will vary by individual schools, grade levels, and subjects. In most cases, the administration will make every effort to keep class sizes at educationally effective levels, taking into account the availability of qualified staff, facilities, funds and state requirements. Particular attention will be given to the composition of classes in terms of the age and abilities of the students, the subject matter to be taught, and any extenuating circumstance that, in the opinion of the teacher and building administrator, warrants special consideration.

The School Committee sees no merit in strictly prescribing arbitrary class size limits. Therefore, the following class size numbers should guide the administration first for budgeting purposes and then in response to the enrollment of new students into classes that are near or at the numbers listed below.

Number of Students Per Class
(Not to exceed for budgeting purposes)
Elementary K-1 20
2-3 23
4-5 25
Middle School 6-8 25
High School 9-12 25

The School Committee reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to deviate from or waive the foregoing guidelines in the best interest of the school system. Nothing in this policy precludes the administration from recommending additional teaching assistants, new class sections, or other relief should classroom conditions warrant such action.

Further to the presumptive class size limits recited above, the administration and School Committee will monitor and respond to situational evidence to ensure that particular classes are appropriately sized. If the building principal believes that a particular class is not functioning properly, any one of the following solutions may be recommended to the Superintendent for review and approval by the School Committee:
      1. Assign a teaching assistant to that particular class for part or all of the day.
      2. Reassign students to other classes.
      3. Open an additional class section at that grade or for that subject matter.
      4. Use other practical solutions as may be deemed appropriate.
The foregoing class size standards are matters of general guidance and presumption rather than rigid limitations, and will in not any event apply to traditionally large group instruction or to experimental classes and classes involving new technological or other innovative pedagogical approaches.

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