The issue of school crowding is a big one in West Seattle’s public schools right now. But it’s an issue at some schools that aren’t necessarily overcrowded overall – but dealing with issues in individual classes or grades. A Sanislo Elementary teacher has a message for you, and an invitation, in this letter about what’s happening at her school:
I have twenty-eight students in my kindergarten classroom at Sanislo Elementary.
As a veteran teacher I can say that I have faced numbers like this before, back in 1984-85. But with the education standards of 2012 is this an equitable start for these 28 young children, these eager to learn, clamoring to be seen and heard, and budding students? My team teaching partner faces 29 students on her side of the room. Yes, I said ROOM. We are 102 A and B at Sanislo Elementary. Our building is designed in the open concept style.
The contractual class size limit in Seattle Public Schools is 26. For the time being, Ernie Seevers, our principal, has done his best to provide more assistance in our classrooms by assigning tutors to help us throughout the day. The tutors are incredibly kind and understanding of young children and they are very good at carrying out our quick directions to work with students on writing, reading, or cutting and gluing. But tutors are a temporary measure. Twenty-six students are the contractual number, and in all honesty, that number should be even lower. We need another classroom teacher at Sanislo to provide adequate learning opportunity for our youngest students.
In the 9-23-12 Seattle Times there was an article titled: Why Washington Kids Aren’t Going to College. The last line of the article quotes State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, saying “Our kids are not getting the bug for learning.” Isn’t kindergarten where that ‘bug’ should begin? If you are a Sanislo parent, alumnus, or the parents of alumni, please join us at the community meeting with Superintendent Jose Banda on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Concord International Elementary School, 723 S. Concord St. at 6:00 pm. The children can reach quite a volume in the classroom but they need you and I to make a din for them on the outside.
Sanislo Kindergarten Teacher