QPS officials forced to hire teacher after late enrollment spike - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

QPS officials decide to hire teacher after late enrollment spike


One Quincy elementary school has solved its problem with kindergarten overcrowding, and it didn't require having parents transfer their children to a different school.

Elementary Academic Director Julie Stratman says the school district didn't really get a full idea of how many kindergartners would be attending Monroe Elementary until the first week of school. That's when they had 55 students in two classes. Now those students have been divvied up into three classes with the hiring of a third teacher.

It's a great way to end a busy school day together! As kindergarten teacher Michelle Herman reads "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" she's able to connect better with her new, smaller class.

"I feel, even though it's only been three days since I've had a class of eighteen, I feel like I already know these eighteen kids much better than I did last week," she said. 

Just last week, Herman had 27 students in her room. She says such a big class size for such pint sized learners was a concern.

"I was worried because we were working with five and six year olds all day, and they are very very very dependent. This is a brand new building, everything is new to them, and when you have that many, it's very hard to acclimate them to the new environment, much less get the teaching done that you need to do," she said.

The other kindergarten class at Monroe had 28 students, and Julie Stratman knew those class sizes were just too big. So they offered parents the option to switch their kids to another school in the district but no one accepted. So Stratman says  - even though a third kindergarten teacher was not in the original plan - the district knew it was time to make it work.

"These are things that no matter what we have if we cut down, if something's not working, we have to look outside the box really and come up with something out of our back pocket to figure out how we can make everybody successful here," she said.

Stratman says it was also important the families felt comfortable with their choice.

"They had a get to know you time with the teacher before they came in so the parents were comfortable, so it went really well and the transfer was really easy," she said.




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