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Lauren Gemmill

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

(518) 377-4666 x50703

lgemmill@niskyschools.org 

Niskayuna Schools > Academics > Elementary Class Size

school assignment of elementary students

Revision of class size management plan

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The district's approach to the management of elementary class sizes as new students enroll is being revised to more effectively promote equity in the educational experience of students and optimize the use of our staff and facilities.

Elementary class sectioning will be based on class size targets and guidelines listed below. The class size target expresses the optimal class size per grade level, while the class size guideline establishes the class size limit for each grade. A guideline may be exceeded by the Superintendent of Schools under extenuating circumstances, with notice provided to the Board of Education.

Both the grade level target and the grade level guideline increase each year from kindergarten to fifth grade. The gradual increase allows for modest, stable growth in the grade level cohort from one year to the next.

Grade level       Target     Guideline

Kindergarten     20           22
Grade 1            21           23
Grade 2            22           24
Grade 3            23           25
Grade 4            24           26
Grade 5            25           27

Each year on or about May 1, the district will determine the tentative number of sections needed for grades 1 through 5 for the subsequent year. Students entering grades 1 through 5 receive their class assignments for the next school year on or about the last day of school. Due to the unpredictability of kindergarten enrollment, along with the use of flexible attendance zones ("flex zones") to balance class sizes, kindergarten sectioning will take place over the summer. Families with children entering kindergarten who live in flex zones will receive their child's school building assignment on or about August 1. Kindergarten classroom teacher assignments will take place subsequent to the school assignments of students who live in flex zones.

After elementary class size and sectioning is determined for each grade level, the assignment of new students will be determined by the following terms of the Elementary Class Size Management Plan, as revised:  

1. New students will be assigned to a school that serves their residence on a space available basis.
       a. Students who move into a dedicated attendance zone will be assigned to the designated school for that zone if there is space available in their grade level. Such assignments will be made by the Director of Student and Staff Support Services, working in conjunction with the district registrar and the building principal. 
       b. Students who move into a flexible attendance zone will be assigned to one of the designated flex zone schools for that zone if there is space available in their grade level. Such assignments will be made by the Director of Student and Staff Support Services working in conjunction with the district registrar and the building principal. 

2. When space is not available under paragraphs 1.a or 1.b above, a new student will be placed in an alternate elementary school with lower enrollment in the student's grade level. When a new student is placed in an alternate school, siblings of the student will also be permitted to attend the same school on space available basis. 

3. When space becomes available during the school year at a school that serves their residence under paragraphs 1.a. or 1.b. above, whichever is applicable, parents will be given the option of returning their child to the school where an opening has occurred. If the parent elects not to transfer their child to the school where there is an opening, the student will remain in the same position on the waiting list. The transfer out of the alternate school will be given the highest priority for the following September.

4. The parents of students who are placed in an alternate elementary school may elect to have their children remain in that school through fifth grade.

Voluntary Transfer Program

1. The district at its discretion may from time to time activate the Voluntary Transfer Program. Through this program, parents with students at a particular grade level with class sizes that are at or approaching the district guideline will be notified about the option to voluntarily transfer their children to other specified schools that have space available at that grade level.

2. Students who are placed in an alternate school will be given priority status in the Voluntary Transfer Program.

3. Students who are voluntarily transferred to another elementary school will remain in that school through fifth grade.

- Revised 2015