I - Instruction



Class Size

NEPN/NSBA CODE: IHB


The goal of the Yarmouth School Committee is to provide class sizes that are well within the suggested maximum limits set by the State of Maine (25:1).

Research shows that a lower teacher/student ratio enhances the educational process, particularly in the lower elementary grades. Primary grade (K-2) students require more individual attention than students in the upper elementary grades.Therefore, the recommended class size in the elementary and secondary schools shall be determined by grade level with exceptions made for classes in certain subject areas, the need for specialized instruction, and the availability of classroom space and equipment for the particular course.

It is the intent of the Yarmouth School Committee to observe the following class size guidelines:


GRADES

TARGET

CLASS SIZE

MAXIMUM

CLASS SIZE AVG

MINIMUM

CLASS SIZE AVG

Kindergarten

16:1

18:1

14:1

1-2

18:1

20:1

16:1

3-5

21:1

23:1

19:1

6-8

23:1

25:1

20:1

9-12

23:1

25:1*

**


*A higher ratio may be allowed for non-traditional scheduling or large group instruction for certain classes, including, but not limited to, fine arts, physical education, health, band, and chorus.

**Class sizes below 10 are sometimes unavoidable due to either a schedule accommodation issue or a curriculum sequence need. Due to the scheduling of other courses in combination with the needs of individual students, a course section may have to be scheduled at two different times, resulting in smaller class sizes. Other courses may be offered despite small class because the course is part of a sequence of requirements. For example, a sudden drop in interest for French 3 may result in fewer students taking this course yet these students, having committed to French for 2 years, should be assured access to the next level of instruction.

When any high school course falls below a 10:1 ratio or above a 25:1 ratio, or any elementary or middle school class fails to meet the ratios listed above, the principal shall notify the superintendent. In addition to each class size, the superintendent and principal will consider the total class load for the individual teacher assigned to the particular class. The superintendent, in consultation with the principal, shall consider options to resolve the issue. Options may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Maintaining class size;
  2. Assigning additional staff;
  3. Transferring some students to a different class; or
  4. Canceling the course.

The superintendent’s decision will be communicated to the School Committee each October with the understanding that School committee approval will be required to hire any additional staff.




Legal References:
20-A M.R.S.A. § 4552
Adopted: January 13, 2011