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Board of Ed: No Portable Classrooms in Elementary Schools

District releases updated class size projections for elementary schools next year.

The Board of Education has made it clear that portable classrooms will not be used next year to house elementary school students after the closing of Kirdahy and Westbrook schools.

During the budget presentation on March 29, Trustee George Smith addressed specific rumors regarding the portable classrooms that he claimed were posted by concerned parents on West Islip Patch.

"If we thought we were going to have to use portable classrooms, we wouldn't have even contemplated the issue [of consolidating]," he said.

Superintendent Richard Simon echoed Smith's statement, telling parents "Tell everyone you know: No portable classrooms."

Simons also presented updated elementary enrollment projections for the 2012-13 school year, which were prior.

Second grade saw the largest drop in average class size, which was down 2.5 students from earlier projections, as two more sections were added to accomodate for higher enrollment. The average class size for Kindergarten dropped .9 students.

Here are the updated projections of each grade: 

  • Kindergarten: (18-22 per class), 282 total students, 20.1 class average.
  • 1st Grade: (20-24 per class), 308 total students, 20.5 class average
  • 2nd Grade: (20-24 per class), 332 total students, 20.8 class average. 
  • 3rd Grade: (20-24 per class), 356 total students, 20.9 class average. 
  • 4th Grade: (24-27 per class), 339 total students, 21.2 class average.
  • 5th Grade: (24-27 per class), 391 total students, 23 class average.

Simon said the numbers may change slightly as the administration finalizes the boundaries for each school and double checks enrollment numbers.

"There may be a slight variation," said Simon regarding the final numbers, noting that updated figure will be released to the public as the budget process moves forward.

The next budget workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. at .

Katniss Everdeen April 04, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I'm hungry. Do you think Mr. Simon will share his WISD funded dinner with me?
Jesse April 04, 2012 at 02:38 AM
No portables, but space is driving class size. Oquenock is, at this point, scheduled to begin the year with four classes of 25 in fifth grade. Manetuck is scheduled to beigin the year with five classes of fifth grade. If they had four classes instead of five, they would have 26 students in each class. So for the one extra student per class, they got an increase to five classes. Oquenock cannot increase to five clases because they have no more classrooms.
Rich April 04, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Mr. Simon says no portable classrooms. He forgot to say tell us to tell all our neighbors and friends, you can no longer sell your home to young couple with children because we have no more room in our schools for them.
Rich April 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Sorry I should have said tell your friends, neighbor, and the Realtors not to sell to families with Pre-School or Elementary School age children since our schools no longer have sufficient room. Those families with MS and HS age children are just fine. The BOE has made no cuts or closures that affect those students. In fact we could use more MS students since these schools are under utilized.
Wendy Regan April 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM
The Board of Ed and Mr. Simon also said ad-nauseum "There will be no increase to elementary class sizes". My son's current class size is 20 students. His 'projected' class size next year is 25 students. THAT IS AN INCREASE OF 5 STUDENTS, IS IT NOT? Let this be an example to all of WI: The words and promises spoken by our school district do not match the actions being taken by our school district. What the district keeps saying and what the district keeps promising is NOT WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING.
Michele April 04, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Mr. Simon and the board are telling us about numbers in classes, how about them telling us about how they are going to be making classes out of offices and other rooms that were never intented to be classrooms. Once again, with all the rooms taken up...where will the special services take place?
Rich April 04, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Maybe they are planning on using the cafeterias before and after lunch. Then they can brag about how efficient they are using the space. Of course they could have left both schools open and made some tough cuts that actually made sense and didn't impact on our children and their education.
Gerry April 06, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Yes, Wendy, that is an increase! If you look at Mr. Simon's presentation Oquenock currently has 20 kids in their fourth grade classes (next year's fifth graders) and only 19 kids in their fifth grade classes. To have 25 kids in a class next year in fifth grade seems like an increase if you look at it from Oquenock's side, too. Seems like an increase all around! What will happen when we find out the numbers were wrong or a few kids move into the neighborhood?
Rebecca Habel April 10, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I think the key is that the budget needs to pass. Otherwise, I don't see how we can get around portable classrooms if we have to cut even more teachers!
Gerry April 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Cutting more teachers would give us more empty classrooms. This would not make us need portables - just the opposite - it would increase class size, not the number of classes.
eileen curran July 06, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Portables are used in many other states, they are smart, inexpensive temporary classrooms. You rent them, so when the student population goes down, they go away and so does the expense. They have bathrooms and heat or a/c. I taught in a portable and loved having my own space and my kids planted a nice garden outside our portable!

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