District to hire tutor to alleviate overcrowded Sunnyside classes
SHELTON — Adding a tutor will alleviate overcrowding in two first-grade classes at Sunnyside School, according to school administrators.
Superintendent of Schools Chris Clouet told the Board of Education Wednesday that, after consulting with each of the district’s principals, a decision was made to hire a tutor who would assist with the two first-grade classes at Sunnyside School. Clouet said all agreed that Sunnyside had the greatest need.
Clouet said the tutor, once hired, would work all day at Sunnyside, exclusively with the first grade, supporting reading and math instruction. The tutor would work with small groups on these subjects, said the superintendent.
“This will reduce class sizes,” said Clouet.
Administrators had been seeking solutions to the recent increase in class sizes at three Shelton elementary schools. The Board of Education, at its regular meeting Sept. 25, learned that at as many as five different classes — two classes at both Sunnyside and Booth Hill schools and one at Mohegan School — have more than 25 students in a section, well above the district’s class size goal of 25.
At the Sept. 25 meeting, Clouet said the district, unlike in year’s past, does not have extra funds that could be moved to assist in hiring additional instructors. But the superintendent said “expenses are modestly lower in a few areas of the more than $72 million budget. There is enough to hire a tutor for this important reason.”
Clouet said one solution examined was looking at classes that have lower enrollments and maybe consolidating some of those classes, but that was determined to potentially cause too great a disruption for the children.
The district’s objective is keeping class sizes below 25 students a class.
“Small classes yield better results,” said Assistant Superintendent Ken Saranich. “That’s the bottom line.”
Saranich said the smaller the class, the more individual attention the teacher can give students, especially those in the younger grades. He said elementary-age students demand more attention with learning, and smaller classes allow teachers to have that time to address those needs.
The Board of Education voted to accept:
— Items, worth $6,794.02, to be used in the Booth Hill School gym and during physical education classes. The items were donated by the Booth Hill School PTO.
— A $657 donation from the Booth Hill PTO to be used by Booth Hill School as reimbursement for last year’s fourth-grade field trip to the Connecticut Science Center.
— A gift of $946.50 from the Booth Hill PTO to be used to purchase three Chromebooks for the gym at Booth Hill School.
— A $6,441 donation from Advanced Security Technologies Inc. of Shelton to install a remote lock solution for the main entrance inner vestibule doors at Booth Hill School.
— Two donations from the Long Hill School PTO for Long Hill School. The first was for $7,068.50 to be used for the purchase of 19 Chromebooks, one cart and other services from Wholesale Computer. The second was for $2,100.28 for the purchase of multiple items from Lakeshore.