Washington Community schools dealing with overcrowding

The school district is making plans for a new Junior High School to deal with the overcrowding.

Posted: Apr 15, 2019 6:38 PM

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Juana Santos has taught at Washington schools for ten years. As an English second language teacher, she gets to know her students well.

Santos says, "I want to help them all. And I want to work with all of them. But there's only so much that one person can do."

Santos works with roughly 170y students at Lena Dunn elementary alone.

Santos explains, "With that number of students it's hard to service all of them. So I kind of feel bad on a day to day basis that oh I don't get to see these students because I have to meet these needs first."

Increasing numbers are felt throughout Washington Community schools. Average class sizes range from 25 to 30 students.

Gretchen Miles from Lena Dunn elementary says, "Nowadays some classes that stay at twenty-five to thirty, they're staying that way from grades three, four, five, and six especially."

Currently, kindergarten through sixth grade goes to four different elementary schools in town. However, the junior high and high school are under one roof. School leaders hope a new junior high building would help provide more space.

Washington Community schools superintendent Dan Roach says, "It allows for the opportunity to balance out the class sizes and potentially give those kids more opportunities then they have given the fact that we are fractured in staffing among four different elementary buildings."

Plans for the new facility are still on the drawing board.

Santos says, "I think that it would help everybody because it's just more space to put more students. Then classrooms can become smaller which is what we need. That way we can service the students a little bit better. The bigger the classes, it's just your stretching the services a little bit more."

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