ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – One North Texas school district is experiencing classroom shakeups just four weeks into the school year. CBS 11 News has learned that dozens of teachers in the Arlington Independent School District are switching campuses.
The moves have left many parents frustrated by the new class sizes.
Currently at Pope Elementary School, the ratio of 6th grade students to teachers is about 20 to 1. But, one of those teachers is moving schools, upping the number of students to 27 per class.
Thinking about the teacher who is leaving, student Madison Hunter said, “She’s really nice… one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever had.”
Madison and her 6th grade friends are preparing to say farewell to one teacher, and make room for an extra six or seven students moving into their class.
Parent like Lois Woodall have a few words for the school district. “It’s very frustrating to us to have this happen,” she said.
Speaking of the changes parent Julie Wheeler said, “Just because it’s acceptable doesn’t mean that it’s adequate, doesn’t mean that it’s right and doesn’t mean that it’s beneficial.”
Wheeler is one of several moms and dads who found out through the grapevine Monday, that teachers will shuffle classes, to level out student teacher ratios across the district.
Woodall thinks her daughter’s class is already large enough. “I’m worried she’s not going to get the personal attention that she needs.”
Out of 1600 teachers, 38 are relocating within Arlington ISD. School district spokesperson Leslie Johnston told CBS 11 similar moves happen in public schools all over North Texas, every year. But many question why the steps are being taken four weeks after school has started.
“We don’t want to have to move people twice,” Johnston said. “So we make sure our enrollment is a stable as possible before we start this process.”
The Texas Education Agency does not recommend student teacher ratios beyond 4th grade. The Arlington ISD target ratio for 6th grade is 30 to one.
A number of parents in Arlington wish there was another way to balance things out. “I understand they have a need there, nut they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul for that,” wheeler insisted. “They need to be hiring more teachers.”
Letters will go home with students when the moves are finalized. Several parents from Pope Elementary are already planning to meet with district leaders Tuesday, to talk about their concerns.
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