regarding class size reduction in New Haven

This was passed to neighbors of the Cambridge Way community.


Dear Neighbors,

The New Haven Unified School District is in the process of making some important decisions that stand to impact every student in our district. I encourage you to stay informed, either by attending school board meetings, reading the meeting minutes, talking to educators in our district and/or reading our local newspaper. This issues are complex and many, and have the potential to impact our kids for years to come.

There is currently a petition being circulated for signatures in advance of this coming Tuesday night's school board meeting. At issue are the elimination of class size reduction and the reopening of Barnard White Middle School, which was closed for financial reasons several years ago. (The following link provides some background on the original decision: The school is slated to be opened for 180 kids this fall. (For reference, the other two middle schools have nearly 8 times this number.)

Without the class size reduction program in place, kinder through third grade classes will go from a maximum of 20 students up to 25-30 students per class as soon as this coming fall. Teachers will have to divide their time between as many as 30 kids, who are acclimating to being in school and learning to read and write.

The Barnard White issue is a controversial one. Many see the benefits of a small-school environment for at-risk kids in the Decoto area of UC; there is also a very strong feeling by many of our teachers and the community that we just can't afford to do it at this time, given the magnitude of the proposed budget and program cuts (including class size reduction) and the impact that will be felt by all kids in the district.

If after considering the issues at hand you would like to weigh in in support of maintaining smaller classes for our K-3 students andthe reconsideration of the decision to open Barnard White this fall, please sign the e-petition at the following URL:

You need not have a child currently in a New Haven school to sign. The petition will be hand delivered to Tuesday night's school board meeting by a concerned parent, who is hoping to have 1200 signatures on the document by Tuesday afternoon.