Parents Want Extra Grade 4 Class at Eastbury Elementary

The parents urged the Glastonbury Board of Education this week to add a third class at the elementary school to limit class sizes in grade 4.

A group of parents of Eastbury Elementary School students want school officials to reinstate a fourth-grade class at the grammar school next year to get class sizes in that grade below 25.

Eastbury in the 2011-2012 school year had three classrooms for grade four, but administrators are proposing reducing the classrooms to two next year for the fourth grade, which would mean one class would have 25 students and another 26.

That would give Eastbury the largest fourth-grade classes among the town’s six elementary schools and the largest classes among all elementary grades.

About a half-dozen parents attended the Board of Education meeting this week and renewed their call to the board to add a third classroom for the fourth grade at Eastbury. The parents went before the board earlier this month and in May with the same request.

This week they took aim at School Superintendent Alan Bookman, saying he has ignored their concerns and is refusing their request. They also said Bookman has taken steps to reduce class sizes at other elementary schools in town, with many having fewer than 20 students.

“Dr. Bookman, you represent us as shareholders. I respect the decisions you’ve made in the past, but I think you’re wrong on this one,” said Jon Forrest, the parent of a fourth grader at Eastbury School.

Bookman said the administration and the school board are still reviewing the class size projections at all the schools because those figures can change as population shifts in town occur in the next month or so. The school board will meet next month to vote on the superintendent’s recommended classroom sizes.

The school board’s “acceptable range” of class sizes in the elementary schools is 22-26 students, but Forrest said Bookman has taken steps to bring the class sizes in other grades below that range and he urged the board to do the same for Eastbury’s fourth grade classes.

“We are fighting for normal class sizes for our children,” he said.




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