WARREN, NJ - Changes to the district’s class size guidelines were approved at the last meeting of the Warren Township Board of Education.
Class size guidelines for each grade will stay the same with the exception of the third grade where the maximum class size was decreased from 24 to 22 students. Principals and teachers retain the flexibility to break a class up into sections or not depending on the individual make up of the class.
“These guidelines provide for a process whereby principals can recommend that we consider breaking classes earlier than the maximum when students’ needs indicate this may be particularly advantageous,” said Superintendent Matthew Mingle. “We will also set a deadline of early August for making these decisions instead of making changes all the way up to the first day of school.”
If the district made no changes to the class size guidelines he estimated there would be a need to reduce four full-time positions.
Mingle made a presentation on class sizes last December.
“The truth is we had this flexibility before; this is a reflection of the findings that came out of STEEP,” said Mingle. “This doesn’t restrict us from considering other options, the board always has that and that’s one of the benefits of not making these recommended numbers a policy.”
Considering the current and projected enrollment, Mingle said he ideally expects a net change of zero teachers leaving or entering the district in September.
“I will be reporting back publicly in September about the effects of these new guidelines and the total number of staff members for elementary school sections,” said Mingle. “The number of teachers depends primarily on enrollment and those numbers fluctuate all the way into the new school year. We are required to notify staff members of their status for next year by May 15 and we must account for our estimated needs in the budget process so we continually update our projections.”