An unexpected bump in incoming kindergarten students may cause Windsor Locks school officials to add staff at to meet the need.
The Windsor Locks Board of Education has given Superintendent of Schools Wayne Sweeney permission to increase staff by one teacher if kindergarten classes reach 24 students per room.
Sweeney said as of last week there were 137 students registered for kindergarten in the 2012-13 school year. Currently, the classes are at 22 and 23 students per room, he said.
“That makes me fell uncomfortable,” Sweeney said. “Until I see the whites of their eyes and count their heads, I don’t want to jump into adding sections.”
The kindergarten classes do have aides who can help with the adult-student ratio, he said.
Principal Jeff Ferreira said the school’s had more late registrations. He said school officials blanketed homes with notices about registering their children.
“They just took their time,” Ferreira said.
If the number of registrations increase enough to warrant a seventh section of kindergarten, all the names of the students will be put in a hat and three students from each of the six sections for the additional class, Sweeney said.
Sweeney said he doesn’t want to have to hire another full-time teacher if the extra students can be handled by using aides and a half-time literacy instructor. But if a new teacher is needed, he said they will be looking for a “young, enthusiastic teacher.”
The last class that created a bubble in enrollment in kindergarten is currently the fourth grade class, officials said.
Ferreira said they will have more information this week once students start school. If they have to switch classrooms after a few days won’t affect the students that much, he said.
“Twenty-two, 23, 24 to a classroom, that’s hard for five-year-olds,” Ferreira said.
Sweeney said with the number of registrations they’d received in July officials were worried that there would be kindergarten classrooms with just eight or nine students.