April 20, 2022

Key Facts About Class Size

Monitoring class sizes occurs throughout the year

We regularly monitor class sizes, especially during the spring and summer, when projections to become actual enrollments.  Each year between October and December, current enrollment reports and future projections are presented to the Board of Education to begin budget preparations for the following school year.  In late spring, the Administration works with staff to identify and proactively address potential areas of concern.  Often, class sizes cannot be finalized until projections become actual enrollments in late summer. 

Enrollment declines often lead to staff reductions

Staffing levels are adjusted every year based on student enrollment — even in years when budgetary needs or changes are not under consideration. BPS101’s elementary school population has declined 12% since 2017. In a fiscally responsible approach, fewer students generally require fewer teachers.

Chart 1: Historical and Projected Enrollment

Enrollment projections fluctuate until late summer

Throughout the year, and especially during the summer, families move in and out unexpectedly.  Sometimes enrollments change in pockets of certain neighborhoods or grade levels and cannot easily be predicted.  As a result, we cannot accurately predict our staffing needs until enrollments are finalized in late summer. Often, adjusting teacher assignments beforehand is premature — particularly for kindergarten.

BPS101 has its own class-size guidelines

Guidelines are agreed-upon parameters used to balance class sizes, staffing, instructional and budgetary needs.  Guidelines differ from a cap—which we do not use—that limit the maximum number of students allowed in a classroom before taking specific measures to reduce a class size.

Taking into account various conditions and enrollments from year to year, the Board of Education’s collective bargaining agreement with the teacher’s association establishes a general guideline or goal of 22 students in a grade K-2 classroom, 26 students in a grade 3-5 classroom, and 30 students in a grade 6-12 classroom.

These long-standing guidelines are unique to BPS101, although the ranges are comparable to those used by surrounding districts.

Chart 2: Average Elementary Class Sizes as of January 21, 2022

(excludes specialized programs)

Grade Level Students Sections Average Target
K 360 17 21.2 22
1 324 16 20.3 22
2 373 19 19.6 22
3 316 14 22.6 26
4 334 15 22.3 26
5 332 15 22.1 26
Totals 2,039 96 21.2

Chart 3: Comparison of Average Elementary Class Sizes to Prior Years

School Year Students Sections Average
2022 2,039 96 21.2
2021 Not reported due to pandemic
2020 2,074 101 20.7
2019 2,130 94.5 22.5
2018 2,126 93 22.9
2017 2,321 100 23.2

Extra support is considered when classes exceed guidelines

We are committed to supporting learning and growing. When a class exceeds guidelines, varying levels of support are considered in collaboration with teachers and the Batavia Education Association. Additional supports may include:

  • Small group support
  • Additional part-time staff
  • Additional training
  • Scheduling supports