Parents concerned about large class sizes in Mishawka schools

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Parents with students in Mishawaka's elementary schools are concerned because of the large class sizes. Superintendent Dr. Terry Baker says in the short term, the only solution is to transfer students to another school in the district.

"They told us if we wanted her in another class she'd have to go to another school because they just didn't have the room," said Tiffany Thomas, whose daughter is a second grader at Beiger Elementary.

Beiger Elementary is one of the most crowded elementary schools in Mishawaka.

Thomas says her daughter is an advanced student in a class that combines second and third graders.

That's where she will have to stay. 

If Thomas had requested that her daughter stay at her own grade level - she would have been asked to leave.

There are 5 overcrowded classes at beiger.

It's a trend Superintendent Barker is seeing across the district.

"The bottom line is that we do have higher class sizes than what we have seen in previous years. We actually have larger class sizes in every grade except sixth grade, which has actually gone down slightly," said Barker.

Barker says the ideal class size is about 24 to 28 students.

But many classes in the district have 30 or more students.

"We share the concern. I understand the frustration of the teachers who have the larger class sizes than what they had in the past," said Barker.

He says right now parents can request to transfer their child to another school if they feel their class size is just too big.

Thomas says if her daughters advanced class gets too big, transferring her is an option she's open to.

"I would absolutely transfer her because I feel like they all need more attention than what they're getting," said Thomas.

So far no parent has requested to transfer their child.

The superintendent is trying to find other ways to help fix this overcrowding problem.


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