There appears to be some speculation recently on social media sites regarding class size at Lake Villa 41. To that end, it is imperative that everyone has correct data regarding class size in the district.
Below is a link for a chart showing the average elementary class size for Lake Villa 41 per building since 2006/07. (Please keep in mind this is a view from the macro-level, not the individual grade level.)
Average Elementary Class Size
Please note the following:
- The average class size was highest in 2015/16, not this year.
- 2015/16 was the first year Pleviak School was closed.
- The district’s elementary enrollment has declined significantly. We have 700 less students since 2006/07. This is why it was a wise decision to close Pleviak. Unfortunately, declining enrollment also means declining state revenue since state funding is based on student enrollment.
On this link you can see the average class size of neighboring districts along with their composite 2017 PARCC scores. Neighbor Districts
You can see that smaller class size does not correlate with higher PARCC scores. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it is in line with a meta-analysis research done by John Hattie which was updated in 2017. 2017 Factors Influencing Student Achievement But as with all research, there are those that challenge findings. You can find out more about how Hattie defends his research in a brief NPR Ed article NPREd How Learning Happens
In an ideal world, we would be able to follow the state’s suggested guidelines of setting a cap for class size at 15 students in grades K-3 and 25 students in grades 4 – 6. Unfortunately, in case you haven’t noticed, we don’t live in an ideal world.
Here is what an ideal world would look like at Lake Villa 41. We would need 9 more teachers at Hooper, 10 more teachers at Martin and 12 teachers more at Thompson. For those of you who have children at these schools, you know there isn’t space at any of the schools. Short of building a new school, we would need to take back Pleviak. However, that would mean not only would we need to hire 31 teachers, but also a principal, lead teacher, health clerk, nurse, custodian, and 6 instructional assistants. That would cost the district over $2M annually. This is in addition to increasing transportation annually and the one time cost to break our lease with Round Lake for the use of Pleviak. Oh, we also would not realize the $200,000 annually generated from leasing Pleviak.
So, where does all of this leave us? Every year we review enrollment data to determine where we need to add or delete sections. This review really becomes critical in the summer months as our registrations come pouring in. Last August we added two classes just before school started. Of course, we want to avoid adding teachers after school has started since it is so disruptive to students and families.
This year, recognizing that we can make much better plans when we have all our students registered early we created Move Up Day. On the last day of school, registered students will “move up” into their next grade’s class and meet their new teacher. Hopefully, this will encourage parents to get their registrations in now and not wait for August. Here is the link to online registration LV41 registration Kids who are registered by May 4th will get to participate in Move Up Day in June. Parents don’t have to pay fees now, but simply have their children registered. Please see this link for more information Move Up Day
Right now, we are still in the process of examining numbers from online registration. While it is early yet, we do anticipate adding classes at Martin. This will necessitate administration creatively reallocating space to house new classes. The rest is unknown until we get all registrations in (hopefully by May 4th). Please parents if you haven’t done so, please register your children!
In the meantime, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, Dr. Barbour or your child’s principal. We are all here to help.