Small class sizes for Greenfield School District
One local school district is making a Solomon-like decision, sacrificing access for some students in the name of a better education for others.
Around 3,000 students make up the Greenfield School District. School leaders want smaller class sizes and they've figured out a way to make that happen.
\"That is the goal, to get to small class sizes for our students,\" said Superintendent Lisa Elliott.
She said the ideal class sizes for elementary students is between 20 and 22 students.
\"We know that isn't always a reality, because we have to find spaces for resident students too,\" said Elliott.
In Greenfield the average elementary classroom has around 27 students.
School leaders believe that's too many, which is why they turned to something else.
\"We have the ability to make classes smaller through restricting open enrollment,\"said Director of Human Resources Mark Kapocius.
Open enrollment is an opportunity given to parents who don't live in Greenfield to enroll their children in that school district. However, its no longer an option.
\"There isn't any new space available for students,\" said Elliott.
A decision that is costing the district state money.
The district receives close to 7-thousand dollars for each open enrollment student.
This school year, they have 673 open enrollment students in the district. After this years graduation, they will have 575 open enrollment students.
\"We will be a small school district, but we will be a district that will focus on academic achievement,\"said Kapocius.
Elliott isn't naive to the fact that not everyone would be happy about it
\"We've heard some feedback from parents that are disappointed that there aren't any open enrollment seats,\"said Elliott.
She told CBS 58 this is the best decision for Greenfield resident students.
\"Research shows that students who are in smaller class sizes have more opportunities for personalized learning,\" said Elliott.
Those students who are already enrolled in the Greenfield School District can stay. If a spot opens up, they will give it to a student who wants it, with preference to those who have siblings at one of the schools.