Mr. Slattery, the entire Endhaven Staff, the Student Leadership Team, and the PTA have an important, URGENT request for you. There is a new state mandate regarding class size in discussion that would negatively impact our school! The attached document discusses the issue and most importantly WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!
This is a time sensitive matter, please forward this to your classroom parents and urge them to read and respond as well. By January 9th we need as many people as possible to contact our NC Senate and House representatives requesting this mandate either not go into effect or be fully funded!
Thank you for all you do to make our school a success!
See the letter below:
North Carolina Class Size Mandate
What is the class-size mandate?
In 2018-19, the maximum individual K-3 class sizes will drop from 24 students to between 16 and 18 students, depending on grade level. Specifically, class sizes may not exceed the following number of students: Kindergarten 18; 1st Grade 16; 2nd Grade 17; 3rd Grade 17.
For more detailed information on how this mandate came about, click here.
Aren’t smaller class sizes a good thing?
On the surface, dropping class size numbers seems like a great idea. But when the mandate has no funding behind it, there is no money to hire more teachers, or more importantly, create more actual classroom space. Though well-intended, this legislation could actually have unintended consequences, actually diminishing the educational experience that we are accustomed to at Endhaven and around North Carolina.
So, what could/will happen at Endhaven Elementary?
• At Endhaven, the class size mandate will lead to the need for 8 extra classrooms/teachers without additional funding to support current programs.
We do have the option to utilize mobile classrooms outside (not the perfect fix anyway), but without extra funding who will pay for the approximately $800,000 cost estimate it would take to provide an additional 8 mobile classrooms?
• EES could see ‘combo’ classes. Meaning, 2 classes of the same grade could be in one classroom space with up to 36 students in that classroom (i.e., 36 students with 2 certified teachers in ONE classroom)
• Based on current enrollment and in the past we have seen art, music and science lab moved out of their own classrooms, i.e., “art on a cart” and “music on cart” moving from class to class rather than have their own space. Their classrooms would continue to be needed to house a K, 1, 2, or 3 classroom. Consider all the art projects and music related skills that simply cannot be done in a traditional classroom. Art projects, music programs and science experiments will not be at the level of excellence or creativity level that they are currently.
• Lastly, we could see a reduction of art, music, PE, media, science lab, computer lab teachers to fund extra classroom teacher positions, potentially having K-3 teachers, not specialist teachers, teaching these special areas.
What can I do as a parent and/or PTA member to stop this from happening?
Please take a minute to reach out to your representatives in the North Carolina Legislature (Senate and House). Let them know, as soon as possible, that you want them to reconsider the class-size mandate or fully fund it. Legislators (info listed below) need to hear from YOU, the parents before January 10th, the date the NC Legislature returns for a special session in which they could address this issue.
Our timing is critical! Again, legislators (contact info listed below) need to hear from YOU, the parents before January 10th, the date the NC Legislature returns for a special session in which they could address this issue. Why? Schools need a solution BEFORE legislators return for the short legislative session on May 16, the day AFTER school boards are required under state law to approve their budget requests to their county commissioners.
Our local legislators are:
Representative Scott Stone
Republican – District 105
N.C. House of Representatives
16 W Jones Street, Room 2213
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
Representative Mary Belk
Democrat – District 88
N.C. House of Representatives
16 W Jones Street, Room 1313
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
Senator Dan Bishop
Republican – District 39
16 W Jones Street, Room 2108
Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
I don’t know what to say to my legislators. I’m not good at writing letters… No problem! See below…
1st option: Phone call
When you call your representatives, all you need to do is the following:
• Give your name and say that your children attend Endhaven Elementary School in his district.
• Say K-3 class size restrictions will have a negative effect on Endhaven, listing specific effects mentioned above.
• Say we need a change to class size reductions during the January session – before budgets are due to their county commissioners in May.
• Tell the person thank you for listening to your concerns.
That’s it! If you get a voicemail machine, leave a message. All phone calls must be logged (as opposed to mail or email that may be slower to open), so calls are the most efficient way of having our voices heard. Also, no angry phone calls – we want to make sure we are seen as a voice of reason who gets a “seat at the table” when these issues are discussed.
2nd option: Write and mail a letter
Send a personal letter letting them know why your child loves art, music, etc. how they don’t do well in a large combined classroom, and how you aren’t happy with the potential effects of this legislation on Endhaven and schools across the state. Cite the specific effects for our school mentioned above.
3rd option: Email
Send a personal email letting them know why your child loves art, music, etc. how they don’t do well in a large combined classroom, and how you aren’t happy with the potential effects of this legislation on Endhaven and schools across the state. Cite the specific effects for our school mentioned above.
The most important thing is to write, call, and/or email them and let them know that YOU VOTE and YOU CARE!
THANK YOU for taking the time to advocate for our students!
**Our local representatives for our school zone are included above. It may also be helpful to reach out to other Mecklenburg County representatives. Using this website you can locate additional Mecklenburg County legislators: http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx.