Northport Kindergarten Class Sizes Increase

Some parents concerned more kids, less time will diminish educational quality.

Some parents are concerned about increased kindergarten class sizes at this year, saying that it will diminish educational quality.

Debbie Ronan, mother of a kindergartener at , challenged the Northport-East Northport Board of Education's decision to raise the cap of kindergarten classes to 22 students at Monday's BOE meeting. Last year, the average class size was about 15 students.

"The kids have less time in the building so there should be less kids in the class," she said.

Superintendent Marylou McDermott explained that the measure was done for economic reasons; by having only two kindergarten classes, the district will save money on teacher salaries. Each class will be staffed by two certified full-time teaching assistants.

Ronan maintained that having three sections of kindergarten, each with one part-time teacher, was the ideal solution to keep class sizes low and questioned where money is saved in the district's plan.

"Half time teachers are only paid half their salary with no benefits, so if you have one teacher with one class at one school, she wouldn't get benefits, as opposed to the teaching assistant who has benefits but doesn't get paid as much--what's the cost difference?" she asked.

Another woman with a kindergartener at Bellerose said she shares Ronan's concerns about increased class size.

"My son is a very active child and some of the children in his class are also very active," she said. "It's almost hard to imagine the experience being what they need for kindergarten in that short amount of time with that number of kids."

*Editor's Note: This article incorrectly stated that Northport-East Northport Schools switched to half-day kindergarten last year.

DPP September 02, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Children today are smarter???? You have got to be kidding with that comment. Has something been added to Northports water supply that we're not being told about?Yes they are lazier and allowed to become that way by their parents who can't wait to stick a cell phone or Ipod in their hands so they can text the day away, tune out the world around them and learn how 'not' to develop social skills. Nothing inhibits their education more than the the electronic distractions that parents put in their hands at much too early an age.
Johnny Appleseed September 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
The topic is half day Kindergarten, maybe you should start another rant to talk about the issues in the Middle and High schools SOMEWHERE ELSE! You sound like you are so unhappy, why dont you do something about it? Instead of just complaining, step up from your anonymous rants, run for school board or join a committee to try to make a difference. Sorry you couldnt handle my run on sentences!
Gabriel September 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Overpaid educator is an oxymoron. If we fail to invest in our children, our society will continue to fall behind other countries in all areas besides narcissism and defense. I wonder what kind of life a person must lead to deny his or her own community the resources that matter most in the long run. Education helps people see the big picture and prevents them from sounding like a moron. Children in kindergarten don't have voices of their own to advocate for themselves. They are fortunate to have the educators in question to defend their best interests. Noble professions like those held my educators are rarely appreciated and never lucrative. I dare suggest that a well taught kindergartener in a district as fine as ours knows that educators receive many rewards and that none of them include financial gain.
DPP September 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Hey Gabriel! Those noble teachers who are only concerned about their students interest and ar not concerned with financial gain are guess what; on strike inChicago and getting paid to walk picket lines. By the way, a big part of their battle is fighting against Teacher Evaluations!
PrintsCharming September 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Do you know a parent of one New York State child that has not attended Kindergarten? It is provided by the districts even if it not "mandated" by the state. Outdated information... What is that about? The FACT is that 4,5 & 6 year old children attend Kindergarten EVERY SCHOOL DAY. More funding is provided to districts per child for full day Kindergarten that half. Are these not facts?


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