13 answers

Teacher to Student Ratio Laws?????

Hello Mamas :)
My son will be starting Kindergarten in just about two weeks and at his Kindergarten Round-Up we were informed that his am class has 29 children enrolled! That is just too many in my book! Does anyone know what the Michigan State Law is in regards to that issue? Or does anyone know how I can find out? I am thoroughly frustrated by the school thus far in that at his Round-Up, almost all of my questions were not able to be answered. Also, I have e-mailed his teacher as I would like my son to at least meet her before his first day of school (and I would like to meet her as well!) but have yet to receive a response from her! So frustrating! If I don't get a reply from her tomorrow I think I am going to call the school and find out what's going on! Does anyone know what I'm going through? Any advice? Any teachers out there with any suggestions for me? I want this to be a good experience - I want to have a good relationship with my son's teacher, but right now I'm just really frustrated! I appreciate any and all constructive thoughts. Thank you, in advance, for your time!

K. :)

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I know how you feel. My daughter is going into K this year. We are not allowed to know who her teacher is, what class room she will be in, how many kids are in her class and are not allowed to meet her teacher until the day school starts. The school told me that the day before school after 3pm, they will send out an e mail saying what classroom is hers and that's where I take her to on the first day of school. They said they are doing it this way this year because of budget cuts.

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You are so frustrated. I know what you are feeling number in my daughter class was 28. The teacher would of never of made it without parent volunteers. The parent would take 5 kids out of the room, work on reading, math per that group level. Leveling the teacher with a size of class better to manage. Calling the school is a good idea, if she isn't answering or getting her emails. You can even ask to talk to the teacher and see if you can just run up to say hi. If she is setting up her classroom it should be easy. You can volunteer in the classroom, help the teacher. Be on her side as well as your sons. It is the same thing. They are in it together for the year. Give it a chance school hasn't started and you already don't like it. Not a good start to the year. You will be looking for everything to go wrong it will. Make it a good experience by solving problems not being one.

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I would suggest calling the school to talk to the teacher...many times teachers are unable to even access their computers at beginning of the year due to technology updates/changing email programs/problems with moving classrooms and not having computers set up etc. Even if the email were to be set up the teachers are not expected to check it until school starts. They are usually in non-stop district trainings in the first few days before school so make sure you are flexible in the times you are available to come in your teacher is not as available as she would like to be. But I am sure she would love to meet your kid.

I would go in with a NON-hostile attitude (since you already sound really worked up). You don't want to get off on the wrong foot before school even starts.

I am sure that your sons kinder teacher isn't too thrilled about the student to teacher ratio either!!! No teacher wants to have 29 students in their class (unless of course they have more than 30)

Your childs' teacher has no control over how many students are in a class. If you have a problem with that you should be contacting people in power in state and federal government. Make your voice heard.

BTW your sons teacher might not have even been part of the round-up so don't harbor ill-will against her.

Give her a chance...your chids teacher did not choose to have that many students (by the way she most likely got a pay cut this year so she is working for less money with more work). Most teachers do what they do because it is a calling. They are passionate about it, they are good at it and they are very excited to meet their students.

5 moms found this helpful

This may not be in the line of the advice you were looking to hear, but things like this are some of the reasons I chose to homeschool. You sound like a very proactive mom, just like me. You sound like a wonderful advocate for your child, just like me. I truly think that because of this, the public school experience is going to be monumentally frustrating for you, just like it was for me. Halfway through Kindergarten I was already chomping at the bit to homeschool the next year. I probably would have pulled him out then except I was really hoping things would get better. They only got worse. The public school system is more accustomed to parents that just want to fob responsibility off to someone else for the duration of the day and want their child's scholastic pursuits summed up in a half page report card a few times a year. I don't get the impression that you are that kind of mother at all. I'm not saying all public school parents are like that at all. I know many great parents that send their children to public school, but I think the majority of public school parents are nowhere near as proactive about their children's futures as most of the homeschooling parents I know.

Anyways, homeschooling is something to think about if you have the time and inclination. I know it's not for everyone. If you can't homeschool, maybe you should consider a small private or charter school.

I'd also like to say that I realize that every family has different needs and I'm not condemning anyone that sends their children to public schools. I'm merely trying to point out that you sounds just like I did when my oldest son went to Kindergarten and that ultimately I couldn't deal with the school any more and had to make a different decision for my family.

Best of luck to you.

4 moms found this helpful

Go to the State of Michagan Education website and search student class size. If you do not find an answer, call the information line, or send an email to find out. They will know.

As for the teacher, she has 28 other children coming in the morning, and that probably means that she has more than 50 families to accomodate and plan for. She may be trying to get enough desks for them and find someone to bring them from central storage, and figure out how the old style desk will fit in her little room. She also probably has more meetings than you can shake a stick at about things like the schools best practice, the new email system, how to use the new copier (becasue she is not alowed to touch it until she does,) a seminar on the new IEP forms the district is using...she may have children with special needs and was sent to a conference so that she could be "highly qualified" to teach them; if that was your child, you would be very happy about that, and would be able to sue her if she didn't. You just don't know how full a teachers life is these days. I would be willing to bet that there is nothing that your son's teacher would like more than to be able to meet each and every one of her students such that their experience was good, but it may just be imposible. Being with your son and teaching him is exactly why she went into education.

Many teachers are not even in the classroom untill a day or two before school starts, so it is likely that she has not even accessed her school email, even if that system is up and running like the communications support director promised last spring, because it probably isn't quite right yet.

Try to realize that every parent feels like you do, epspecially if this is your first child. As strongly as you feel, it is not an emergency, and it won't gain you enough to make it worth it to get off on the wrong foot with this very special teacher. That is what kindergarten is, very special, and you should love his teacher as much as he does. If she could respond, she would have already. If she doesn't, assume that she can't and make the day as special as you can for your son without a personal visit with her before hand. It will be OK, either way.

M.

4 moms found this helpful

Check your state board of education's website. Here in California they have rules for class limits, but it's cheaper for school districts to pay a penalty on exceeding the limits than to hire more teachers. Sad, but the reality of budgets these days.

I wouldn't get too angry at the teacher for not responding. I guarantee you, he/she is NOT happy having to teach that many kids and is overwhelmed. That is an incredibly large kindergarten. Do you know if there's an aide? If so, that can help a lot. Our district cut aides a long time ago.

I would take your questions to the principal. He/she would be in the best position to discuss staffing levels.

3 moms found this helpful

Hmm, gatta love Michigan schools, er scratch that, schools in America! Cutting back means less teachers = more kids per teacher. You can either put your son in a small private school or homeschool, but those may be the only 2 options of a smaller class size!

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My daughter is a 2nd grade teacher in Oklahoma. She has 28 students this year. Because that is more than the law allows for 1 teacher, she has an aide.

Many states allow for aides in the classroom. They can do anything from running errands to taking over the class for short periods of time. They also may sit with a child and help them when they need a little extra help, or walk around during a lesson to see if the children are "getting it".

I don't how all teachers would feel about this, but a day or two before school started, I would take my kids in to the school with me to meet the teacher if they didn't know them. I would just tell the teacher I was there for us to meet them and to let me know if they needed anything or needed to, because my child's education was important to me and I believed it would work best if we worked together. It didn't take long, I didn't ask for their plans or classroom rules. It was short and sweet. I never got a bad reaction.

1 mom found this helpful

I know how you feel. My daughter is going into K this year. We are not allowed to know who her teacher is, what class room she will be in, how many kids are in her class and are not allowed to meet her teacher until the day school starts. The school told me that the day before school after 3pm, they will send out an e mail saying what classroom is hers and that's where I take her to on the first day of school. They said they are doing it this way this year because of budget cuts.

1 mom found this helpful

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