Charter School in Natomas Votes to Reduce Class Size

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Westlake Charter School in Natomas has taken action to reduce class sizes for the 2014-15 school year.

The charter school’s board of directors last week voted unanimously 8-0 to lower class size in grades 1-5 as well as grades 7-8.

“It has always been the goal of Westlake Charter School to keep class sizes low in order to best support our students,” executive director Kate Burwinkel said. “In recent years, when we needed to increase class sizes, our hope was to bring them down as soon as possible.”

Westlake Charter School decided in April 2010 to increase 4th and 5th grade class sizes for the 2011-12 school year. The independent charter raised class sizes again in spring 2011 for grades K-3.

According to school officials, both class-size increases were in response to the reduction in education funding from the state due to the economy.

Currently, class sizes in grades 1-3 at Westlake Charter are 23 students to one teacher. It is 29 to one  in 4th grade, 30 to one in 5th grade, and 30 to one in grades 7-8.

School officials said all grade levels, except kindergarten (22 to 1) and 6th grade (29 to 1), will be reduced by an average of one student per class.

“We feel the reduction in class sizes will improve the strength of our academic program and generate positive outcomes for students,” Burwinkel said.

Gov. Jerry Brown has set a statewide goal of 24 students to 1 teacher in K-3 grades. Westlake Charter reports having the lowest class sizes in the Natomas Unified School District.

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