The School Committee approved an extra second grade classroom last spring, anticipating a surge in enrollment for that grade. It turns out the surge has been bigger than anticipated. The School Committee Tuesday night voted to approve an additional second grade class, bringing the total to 10 sections, up from 8 last year.
The latest added class will be at Frenchtown, which had four second grade classes last year. Meadowbrook Farms, with the addition voted on last spring, has five. The district’s contract with the teachers union caps the number of students at 20 for kindergarten through third grade, 25 for fourth and fifth grades, and 30 students at the secondary level.
“Kindergarten, first and second grades are pressure points,” said Supt. Brian Ricca Tuesday. Frenchtown Principal Maryann Crudale told Ricca the school would have the room for the additional second grade class.
Kindergarten and first grade have no openings at Meadowbrook and only a few at Frenchtown.
“It’s a challenge but it’s a good problem to have,” Ricca said. “I would rather have growing enrollment than declining enrollment.” East Greenwich is one of only a handful of districts that have seen increased enrollment in recent years.
“We could get more … the doors are still open,” noted School Committee Chair Anne Musella. Since the new second grade teacher was not in the budget approved in June, the committee voted to use fund balance (surplus) to pay for it.
Enrollment is also up for Cole Middle School and EGHS but not as significantly. Also, those schools do not have such stringent class size restrictions.
School starts Wednesday, Aug. 31.