Classrooms are full, and class sizes are growing too large at Greenwood’s elementary schools. To solve the problem, the superintendent wants to build new classrooms at two of the buildings.
All classrooms at Greenwood’s four elementary schools are being used, and the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms at Southwest and Westwood have nearly 30 students each. Superintendent David Edds would prefer that those classes have no more than 18 students each and that upper elementary classrooms have no more than about 25 each. With smaller class sizes, teachers are able to spend more individual time with students, he said.
The classes are full because more kindergartners than expected enrolled. Southwest and Westwood, which previously had three half-day kindergarten classes, now have three full-day kindergarten programs, and additional classrooms were needed to handle the influx.
Greenwood hired three more kindergarten teachers. Edds said he would have hired more but had no rooms for them.
All the classrooms at Isom and Northeast also are in use, but class sizes are in the low 20s. If those schools had seen similar enrollment jumps, there wouldn’t be anywhere to put those students, he said.
Edds briefly considered bringing in portable classrooms to reduce the class sizes, but now he’s asking the school board to consider permanent solutions, such as adding classrooms to Southwest and Westwood.
Greenwood hired the architecture firm Schmidt Associates, which has come up with several potential renovation plans. Edds said he prefers plans to add three classrooms at Southwest and three at Westwood.
Each classroom would have space for about 25 students. Edds said the district also would be able to move students from Northeast and Isom to other elementary schools if their class numbers got too high.
The architecture firm also included a plan for converting Isom into a kindergarten center, but Edds said approval for that project is unlikely. Under that plan, the other three elementary schools would send their kindergarten students to Isom, and Isom would send its first- through fifth-graders to the other elementary schools.