The number of fourth grade classrooms at Willard and Lincoln schools will remain the same as last year after all?#34;although class size will increase somewhat.

River Forest Schools Supt. Marlene Kamm recommended the District 90 school board approve having five classrooms at Lincoln School and three classroom at Willard, with Willard also having one-and-a-half teacher assistants.

The issue was actually decided by a slight increase in the number of incoming fourth graders. Two additional fourth graders transferred in to the district recently, Kamm informed the board. That pushed the size of at least one classroom over the maximum of 24 if only four classrooms were used. Average class size will now be in the 19 to 20 pupil range.

Kamm said that her recommendation was based on both the increased enrollment, as well as her assessment of the needs of the students.

Students’ parents had reacted strongly to the suggestion at last month’s school board meeting that the district might lose one fourth grade classroom due to a demographic “bubble” in that class’s enrollment numbers. Such a move would have force class sizes up to 24 pupils per classroom, which numerous parents said would unacceptably diminish educational quality.

Jeff and Frances Kraft, who sat through the entire open portion of Monday’s board meeting to monitor developments, said they were satisfied with the outcome, and with the board’s response to parent’s concerns.

Frances Kraft characterized school administrators as “very responsive,” and praised the efforts in particular of Lincoln Principal Pamela Hyde.

“You called, you got a call back,” said Jeff Kraft. “And as I understand it, there were a lot of parents who called.”

Kamm stressed that the process of deciding on classroom numbers and size hadn’t taken any longer to in previous years.

“Every March we look at our staffing plan and what our enrollment will look like,” she said. A final decision is then made after the close of the school year when board has a more certain idea of what actual enrollment will be for the coming school year.

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