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Board approves request to allow school to exceed class size limits

In a special called school board meeting Wednesday afternoon, the board unanimously approved a recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis to request a waiver to allow Norwood Elementary’s third grade classes to exceed the individual class size limit set by the state for the 2020-2021 school year.

While the school system has been working the past few weeks to get its K-3 class sizes in line with the state limits, Dennis said SCS could not get Norwood’s third grade classes, which have an overage of 23 students, to align with the limits, which call for a maximum of 21 students.

“Essentially what we have is due to COVID and the way we have our teachers in the third grade in Norwood visual and face-to-face, we just were not able to get the numbers down to 21 maximum,” Dennis said.

Requests for individual class size waivers must be received by the Department of Public Instruction prior to Nov. 30 if a school has an overage. Class size waivers are good only for the remainder of the school year for which they are approved.

The State Board of Education won’t grant waivers for excess class size in kindergarten through third grade except under specific circumstances laid out in the general statue, including “Emergencies or acts of God that impact the availability of classroom space or facilities,” which is what SCS chose as a result of the pandemic.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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