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Crowded, Some Missoula Classrooms Exceed State Accreditation Standards

Photo Courtesy of Jon King
Photo Courtesy of Jon King

Many Missoula County Public School classrooms are either full or over capacity. According to Superintendent Mark Thane, extra measures are being taken to make sure all classes meet the state accreditation standards and pass inspection next month.

“We add instructional assistant/para educator time to those classrooms so we meet the letter of the law,” Thane said. “At present we are listing 20 classrooms that are exceeding state standards, and an additional 49 K-8 classrooms that are “full” with enrollments right at standard.”

The state standards limit the number of students to just 20 per class for kindergarten through second grade, 28 per class for third and fourth grade and 30 per class from fifth grade through highs chool Thane lists some of the schools which are having a particularly difficult time with handling all of the new students.

MCPS Enrollment as of 9/21/2017

“A new family might move in and be placed on a waiting list, it depends on grade-level school by school, but that’s true at some grade levels at Rattlesnake, Cold Springs,    Lewis and Clark, and Paxson, I think those are the major ones presently.”

Interestingly, most of the schools having capacity issues are also some of the best performing schools in the district and the state. The schools listed by Thane all placed in the top six in proficiency on the latest Smarter Balanced test.

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