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Mineola Schools See Increase in Kindergarten Enrollment

Influx of new students also seen in special education classes.

In the week leading up to the start of the 2011-12 school year the Mineola School District has experienced a “rush of enrollments” in kindergarten according to Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler, all of which are new registers.

“Nothing that is radically changing our numbers districtwide but is certainly presenting some anomalies in certain grades in certain classes,” he said to the at its most recent meeting at the .

As of Sept. 1 a total of 226 students are registered for kindergarten comprised of a total of 10 sections: six sections of 23 students and four sections of 22. The current district guideline for kindergarten through second grade is 22 students per class.

“It is not my recommendation at this time to open another class,” Dr. Nagler said, adding that he would monitor the numbers to see if they change. If an additional five or six children enroll, the board would have to consider opening another class section.

Mineola is also over the guidelines in second grade in with sections of 23 and 24 students. The district would solicit seven new enrollments and inquire if any of them would like to attend the , since it is under-enrolled “and they’re going there the following year anyway,” Dr. Nagler said. If the student’s family agrees, they would spend a total of 3 years at Jackson. There are currently seven sections at Jackson Avenue, all of which are below 22 students per class. The district may have to transport some of the students by bus “but we can handle it,” Dr. Nagler said.

The district also is seeing an increase of 16 new children enrolled in special education and “that is pushing our numbers in our inclusion settings,” Dr. Nagler said.

Mineola Board of Education Trustee William Hornberger expressed concern at the September 1 meeting at the Willis Avenue School if the children were to switch classes so close to the start of a new year or even after classes began. “(It’s) their first time in a full-day setting and that type of movement could be unsettling,” he said.

It was the superintendent’s belief that the decision would come down to “the management of classes,” especially with closing a building and excessing personnel and since larger classrooms are available downstairs.

“Our teachers can handle it” he said.

Vincent September 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM
“It is not my recommendation at this time to open another class,” Dr. Nagler said. Can you say hiring another teacher but just not at this time?
Artie Barnett September 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Vincent, the district is in the middle of a two year reconfiguring. An additional building will close next year and due to contract language the district is limited to a certain amount of teachers that can be excessed. Since this is a one year event, Dr. Nagler simply said he doesn't want to hire another teacher for one year, only to excess them the next. This would also add a teacher to the excess limit reducing the savings impact.

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