701 W. Gregory Mount Prospect, IL 60056  |  847-394-7300
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Lions Park 5th Grade Class Size Message
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding Lions Park Grade 5 class size. Here in D57 it has been our practice to allow for class sizes of 27-29 when needed, with instructional assistants support. We did this for Lions Park 3rd grade last year (sections of 27-28) and for first grade at Westbrook the year before (sections of 26). This practice has worked successfully for us at these younger grades and we are confident it will be successful for LP grade 5 this year.

While every parent would prefer to see his/her own child in the smallest class possible, current research shows that class size is not the indicator for student success (outside of at-risk populations) but that the indicator for student success is the quality of the teaching. Determining class sizes and how to allocate resources to best serve our students is one of the trickiest tasks that administrators must complete each school year and we rely on them to use current data/research when making these decisions. There is no data available to suggest that a reduction in class size from 27 to 22/21 in 5th grade would improve student outcomes.  We are very fortunate to have excellent instruction in our classrooms regardless of enrollment.

While Lions Park fourth grade last year (current 5th grade) had 5 sections of 22-23 (and they were lucky to have had such small numbers), there is never a guarantee that class sizes will maintain the following year. The entire school enrollment, along with striving for parity with Fairview's numbers play into the determination of section numbers and class sizes. Fairview 5th grade this year has 6 sections of 26 and Lions Park is scheduled for 4 sections of 27 with instructional assistant support. We did add a section of 2nd grade at LP so that both schools have 6 sections of 23 students.  Without doing this, LP 2nd grade would have been at 27-28 students per section. Adding a section for the 5th grade would result in classes of 22 or 21, so while it remains our goal to have classes of 23-26 students in our elementary grades, you can see it is not always possible to hit that target.  Only at the K and 1st grade levels to we make accommodations for classes as small as 22-23 and no grade level at any of our schools enjoys classes of less than 22, so there is no rationale for making an exception for our Lions Park 5th graders.  If we did so, we would certainly be compelled to add a section for Fairview 5th grade thus lowering class sizes to 22-23.  Not only do we not have the classroom space for this, but it would further increase our staffing plan which we made a commitment maintain to the extent possible.

I hope that you will try to understand that class size is not determined for each grade and school individually, but that it is approached in a wholistic way so that we might achieve parity and consistency for all of our students throughout District 57.

Thank you again for being engaged in this important but difficult topic.

Joe Sonnefeldt
President, D57 Board of Education
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Mount Prospect School District 57
701 W. Gregory
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
Phone: 847-394-7300
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mount prospect school district 57
701 w. gregory
mount prospect, il 60056
phone:  847-394-7300
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