It is the policy of the Boards of Directors of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District to provide all students a free and appropriate education in a safe environment conducive to learning.
For the purposes of this policy, class size is defined as the number of students in the room and student-teacher ratio. Accordingly, class size will be determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee in consideration of:
- Current Life Safety Codes, contained in NFPA 101, Section 220.127.116.11 (National Fire Protection Association) recommend twenty (20) net square feet per person and 50 net square feet for shops, laboratories and similar vocational rooms to assure adequate egress. The code allows for modification from the specified square footage if necessary aisles and exits are provided (Section 18.104.22.168).
- Current Technical Education Department of Education Rule #2378.2.
- Principals’ decisions regarding class size reflect such teacher-student ratios that ensure effective instructional practice and consider total number of students per grade by geographic, demographic, safety and facility factors. Class size shall not be the sole factor in determining possible school closures.
- Recommendations of the Vermont Quality School Standards - Section 2120. 8.1.2 which states:
At the elementary level, classes in grades K-3, when taken together, shall average fewer than 20 students per teacher. In grades 4-8, when taken together, classes shall average fewer than 25 students per teacher.
At the secondary level, the total class rolls of an English language arts teacher shall not exceed 100 students. In other disciplines, class rolls shall not average more than 150 students per teacher, except where the specific nature of the teacher’s assignment, such as in certain art, music or physical education programs, is plainly adaptable to the teaching of greater numbers of students while meeting the educational goals of the program.
- Among the elementary school districts of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union kindergarten and grade 1 optimal class sizes are recognized as 15 to 17 students. Class size will further be determined according to curriculum grade level and specific curricular activity (e.g. an elementary class room may be assigned more students than a secondary lab). It is the intent of this policy that technical support systems and other physical equipment be proportionate to the number of students in any classroom.
Class size, while sensitive to budget constraints, must be consistent with safe staffing patterns, including paraeducators who are assigned to classrooms or other duties rather than those assigned to specific students.
Vermont School Quality Standards
Vermont Department of Education, State Board of Education Manual Of Rules and Practices, §2378
The member Districts of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union concur with the Vermont Department of Education guidelines for class size at technical education programs such as the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center.