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Class size concerns FP parents PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marian Volek   
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 2:54 PM

CRYSTAL FALLS—Several parents of Forest Park Elementary School students brought concerns to the Board of Education at its July 23 meeting.
 Mary Toivinen told the board she was concerned about the size of her daughter’s second grade class.
 Last year, in first grade, she said, the class size was too large for meeting the needs of the students with varying learning levels. She worried whether the situation would be the same in the second grade.

 Superintendent Becky Waters said it has been a concern of hers, also, and hoped to have an at-risk instructor who could help second grade teacher Laurie Patterson by “pulling out” small groups during the day.
 Carol Williard, who indicated she had just moved to the area with four children, one of whom will be in second grade, was also concerned about the number of children with special needs in the class.
 “I believe you need to make sure children are learning in a comfortable setting,” she said. “I believe you should split this class—it may be the time to not have just one teacher for a whole class.”
 Board Member Jim Nocerini explained the problem, as always, was in funding.
 “We have limited resources,” he said.
  Waters added that the district “was as low as we can go on staff,” and that results in more students in the classroom.
 waters told the board of the possibility for the district to offer some property on the side of the bus garage to the Sheriff’s Department for a cold storage building.
 There is a proposal within the city to build a retail business on the property where the old carriage house is located, next to the jail.
 The Sheriff’s Department is using it for storage. The developer of the business indicated it would erect a new building for the department.
 The value of the land, Waters said, is not very high, perhaps $1,500.
 She suggested an in-kind trade, where the Sheriff Department may possibly put up security cameras in the area of the bus garage or offer some other programs to the school.
 Attending the meeting were Administrator Sue Clisch, Undersheriff Tom Courchaine and County Commissioner Carl Lind, who said they appreciated the offer.
 Courchaine added that the department has been looking to build a new storage building for some time.
 Lind added that for the county to take down the carriage house would mean adding in the cost of asbestos abatement.
 “It’s a liability,” he said, and of minimal value. The board supported moving forward and working with the county on the issue.
 In discussion from the policy committee meeting, Nocerini told the board a change has been made in the seventh and eight grade rules that will allow home-schooled children to participate in the sports program, with an activity fee that will be prorated.
 Several action items were approved, including the milk bid; posting of teaching and aide positions; the school calendar, and the board set times for interviewing candidates for athletic director.
 The board invited parents to an open house for the district on Aug. 29.


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