District works to accommodate 180 1st grade students

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The Pocahontas School District is changing classroom plans ahead of the first day of school, to make room for 180 1st grade students.

Alma Spikes Elementary was originally only supposed to have eight teachers for first grade students.

However, because of an increase in the number of first graders, the district needed to adjust their classrooms.

Superintendent Daryl Blaxton says Sarah Rogers was originally supposed to teach 2nd grade, but she offered to move and teach first grade.

Blaxton said he's thankful that so many of the school's teachers are flexible and willing to help as the school continues to grow.

"Ms. Sarah Rogers is a team player and she said you know I'll go from 2nd to 1st," he said.  "That's going to allow us to have more balance in our classrooms as far as the number of kids in each classroom."

Originally, the district would have had around 24 students in each first grade class.

Blaxton said without adding another first grade teacher, the district's teacher to student ratio still will be within state standards. That is considering the district is adding a teacher in each classroom, while the number of students will be decreased by about two.

Blaxton said a couple of students may not sound like much of a difference, but it is.

"Here it's going to be able to allow us to have more like 21, 22," he said.  "Two to three children make a significant difference at that age."

He said the change will allow the teachers to give their students more individualized attention.

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