Enrollment Increases Lead to More Class Size Concerns
Hasbrouck Heights school district Superintendent discusses ways the Board of Education and administration will address the situation.
Hasbrouck Heights school district has experienced another recent boost in enrollment which is leading to increased concerns for parents and school officials about class size.
Mark Porto, superintendent, told parents at the Board of Education meeting Thursday, enrollment went up 5 percent in the past 9 months. An additional 110 students are in the district, 50 of those additional students are in the middle school/high school alone, he said.
Porto said since he came to the district in 2010, enrollment has gone from 1550 student to the current enrollment of 1890, up 340 students, or 22 percent.
Porto said he and the Board of Education trustees are “seriously discussing options that will allow us to have smaller class sizes in the long term by using the full facility.”
He pointed to the media center at the middle school/high school building which is now being used for instruction as an example of some the creative ways they are trying to take to create class space out of the space that can be made available.
A computer lab has been set up at the front of the media center for class work. There are also plans to remove some more shelving in order to create more class space, the superintendent explained.
Porto acknowledged the 11 percent increase in an enrollment at the second grade level at both elementary schools – Lincoln and Euclid. He agreed with two Lincoln School parents who came forward who expressed their fears that large class size is a detriment to the children’s education.
Henry Hahn, a parent of a second grader at Lincoln, said his child is in a class of with almost as many as 30 students with one teacher and no teacher’s aide, to which he called a “recipe for deficiency.”
Eileen Oettinger echoed some of Hahn’s concerns telling the board she hoped something will be done as soon as possible to help the situation. Porto agreed telling parents that the educational needs of all the children are immediate and they are in the process of finding out what that will entail in short-term and long-term solutions.
Board members said that the second grade at Lincoln currently has two classes with 27 students and a third with 28. There was no mention of how many students are in each class at second grade Euclid.