Township numbers keep increasing

District continues to evaluate and implement new measures to prepare for increased numbers of students


Madeline Steward

Perry Township built four new Kindergarten Centers in the township. They will start at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Madison Gomez, Reporter

There has been growth, yet again, in Perry Township, particularly in the elementary schools. This has caused the kindergarten centers to be built and school start times to be adjusted to accommodate the use of less buses for more students. The effect of the growth is mainly in the 3rd and 4th grades, but it will  soon affect  the middle schools. As SHS principal and former SMS principal, Brian Knight, noted all of the classrooms are filled there. Meaning there are no more rooms for new classrooms and classes are already big in numbers.

“I don’t see it getting a whole lot worse at the middle schools, but if it does, they could run out of room,” Knight said.  

With 1,762 students entering the district and 1,637 exiting, the State will provide the money to accommodate the addition of teachers and new parts of the building, if need be. In turn, the class sizes will increase. This year, the senior class size is now in the upper 400s, but with the future classes will be around 600, according to Knight. This isn’t a problem directly affecting the middle schools now, but it is affecting the elementary schools. Eventually, as the students advance through the grade levels, changes will need to be made.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Knight in respect to classroom sizes.

Teachers might have to get used to having classes around 30 students, which they don’t like according to Knight, because the school will have to wait till there is around 32-33 students in a class before the administration will need to add staff to accommodate the increase of students. All of the new teaching staff were put into the elementaries, but the kindergarten centers helped alleviate the influx of students.

“I don’t know if I see (the numbers) getting a whole lot worse at the elementaries then it already is, but if it does, then we could run out of room,” said Knight. “But with the sizes coming up, we’re okay, for now.”

Assistant principal, Kirby Schott did not comment on the matter.

In addition, new bus routes are going to be released July 24 via Skyward, lunch prices are being raised 10 cents district wide because of federal requirements, and July 26 will be an open house for the kindergarten centers for the kindergarteners and their families and the week of Aug. 14 there will be a community grand openings for students. Aug. 14 will be for Homecroft, Aug. 15 for Jeremiah Gray, Aug. 16 for Rosa Parks, Aug. 17 for Douglas MacArthur.