MHS Class Sizes: Too Big? Just Right?
The start of school heralds class size concerns.
The start of another school year has heralded concerns from parents over class sizes at Montclair High School.
"My daughter has had some great teachers at MHS, especially this year. But as far as class size goes, I get the sense that the classes are large—generally 30 or more kids, and these are higher level classes," said parent Rick King. "So, as a parent, I get concerned about that. I worry that it could undermine the overall educational experience."
But Principal James Earle said average class sizes are the same as they have been for the last few years.
"We have always had several classes which have enrollments of 30 or more. Based on past practice, these classes typically have high enrollments for the first two weeks and then enrollments decline because students choose other options," he said. "When we assign more than 30 students to a class, it's usually one or two more students and with teacher consent."
Earle said that some classes have fewer sections because of course requests in the spring.
"Often when students return in the fall, they request to be enrolled in a class (or particular teacher) and we make every effort to accommodate," he said. "We will continue to work with students to honor their requests but we will devote more attention to class sizes.
"I am in the process of maybe dividing a few of the larger courses if we are able to adjust teacher schedules, which will reduce enrollment in some areas," he said.
According to New Jersey Monthly Magazine's biennial ranking of 328 public high schools in the state, the average class size at Montclair High School is now 21.3 while the combined average SAT score is 1629.
That's better than the numbers published in 2010, when the magazine noted an average class size of 34 and an average SAT score of 1617.
But, in 2010, the student-faculty ratio at Montclair High School was listed as 10.0 compared with 11.3 in 2012.
In the magazine's ranking, the school was listed in 99th place—down from the 94th spot in 2010.
What do you think of class sizes at Montclair High School? Let us know in the comments section below.