September 8, 2018

Dear Fifth Grade Families,

As most of you know, our 5th grade group of students experienced large class sizes last year in fourth grade.  This year, the class size has grown to 27 students in both classes, which exceeds the MSAD 11 School Board class size policy recommended range of 18-24 with a recommended class size of 22 students.  This week, the MSAD 11 School Board addressed the concern of large class sizes in 5th grade at our school and approved the hiring of an additional 5th grade teacher.

The new teaching position has been advertised and the search has begun for an experienced, collaborative and skilled educator to join our 5th grade team.  Mrs. Liz Hall, Mr. Kyle Smith and I will interview candidates and welcome a new teacher as soon as possible. Creating a third 5th grade class will reduce class sizes from 27 students in each class to 18 students in each class.  

The new student groups will be formed considering the needs of each student and striving for balance across each class.  New classroom learning communities will create new routines with their teachers and classmates. All 5th graders will continue to spend their lunch and recess times together over the course of the school year.  In addition, the 5th grade teachers will team teach units of study in science, social studies and writing. This model involves students traveling to each teacher’s classroom to spend learning time with each expert member of the grade level team.  

Once the new teacher has been hired, you will be introduced and invited to meet our 5th grade teacher.  The classroom is being prepared and Mrs. Hall and Mr. Smith are prepared to support their new teammate with learning the student needs, the grade level curriculum and the routines of our school.  Though this is a challenging transition having completed the first several days of school, I am confident that creating manageable class sizes will promote student growth and achievement as teachers are better able to meet individual student needs.  Smaller class sizes will also create more physical space in each classroom which will allow for movement and flexibility around the room.

If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming changes, please contact me at any time.   As always, thank you for your trust and support as we transition students into new learning groups.

With great respect and appreciation,     

Kady M. Gould