Report breaks down class sizes at Wilton schools
Since 1973, the Board of Education has periodically reviewed the ranges and averages of individual class sizes within Wilton’s public schools, which school administrators prepare within the planning ranges and averages established by the board.
Human Resource Director Susan Paley provided The Bulletin with the school district’s 2015-2016 Class Size Report, showing the number of students in each certified teacher’s classroom this year.
During the January school budget hearing, Superintendent Kevin Smith said “class size is tricky” and that the district has had “lots and lots of conversations about the research around class size.”
“Our range is 20 to 24 [students],” he said. “Once we exceed 24, particularly at the elementary levels, I think that’s where we start to look at whether or not we need to add back a teacher.”
According to the Wilton School District's class size policy (P-6151), the size of individual classes are determined by the administration in accordance with planning ranges and planning averages established by the Board of Education.
The established planning ranges and averages are as follows:
- Kindergarten and Grade 1: 18-25 range, 23 average.
- Grades 2-5: 20-30 range, 25 average.
- Grades 6-12: 10-40 range, 25 average.
This year, at Miller-Driscoll, there are 22 students in each first grade class. Kindergarten and second grade have average class sizes of 19.75 and 19.31, respectively.
There are 12 certified kindergarten teachers, 13 certified first grade teachers, and 13 certified second grade teachers.
In 2013, second grade had the highest average class size (21.8), followed by first grade (19.1) and kindergarten (18.8).
In 2014, second grade had the highest class size average (20.57) and first grade had the lowest (19.46). The average kindergarten class size that year was 20.15.
At Cider Mill, the average class sizes are 21.14 in third grade, 23.43 in fourth grade, and 23.30 in fifth grade. There are 14 certified third grade teachers, 14 certified fourth grade teachers, and 15 active certified fifth grade teachers.
During the January school budget hearing, Cider Mill Principal Jennifer Mitchell said the class sizes at her school are “larger than they’ve been in the past,” but she believes that the teachers are “meeting the needs of the kids.”
The district has been “monitoring” classrooms with 23-24 students, said Smith, “and we’re doing well.” Eight fourth-grade classes have 24 students each.
In 2013, third grade had the highest average class size (22.67), followed by fourth grade (21.93) and fifth grade (21.82).
In 2014, fifth grade had the highest class size average (22.21) and third grade had the lowest (21.5). The average fourth grade class size that year was 21.53.
Middlebrook has 1,019 students enrolled in its school this year, according to the report, which breaks down its class sizes by department rather than teacher.
Physical education has the largest average class size at 24.78. According to the report, 99.8% of students take physical education, which is taught by four instructors. Classes meet every other day for a full year.
The department with the smallest average class size and smallest percentage of enrolled students are the reading/writing lab, with an average class size of 6.10 and 6.1% student enrollment; followed by special education, with an average class size of 6.7 and 14.3% student enrollment.
The average class sizes of Middlebrook’s other departments this year are:
- World languages: 18.5.
- Art: 18.76.
- Reading/writing workshop: 20.3.
- Family and Consumer Sciences: 21.2.
- Health: 21.2.
- Industrial technology: 21.2.
- Mathematics: 21.27.
- English: 21.5.
- Science: 22.1.
- Social studies: 22.1.
- Music: 13.1.
Wilton High School has 1,340 students enrolled in its school this year, according to the 2015-16 class size report. The department with the largest average class size is physical education at 25.9. The report notes that a “health component teacher [is] included in class average calculations” for physical education.
Tenth grade health has the second largest average class size at 25.7, while art has the smallest average class size at 17.2.
The average class sizes of Wilton High School’s other departments this year are:
- Business: 17.8.
- Technology education: 18.
- Family and Consumer Sciences: 18.1.
- English: 20.
- World language: 20.1.
- Science: 20.2.
- Mathematics: 21.5.
- Social studies: 22.1.
Click here t o view the 2015-16 Class Size Report.