Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 16, 2013

Large class sizes concern parents

TEUTOPOLIS — While Teutopolis Unit 50 school officials plan to have three first-grade sections of 25 students each, a number of teachers and parents asked the Unit 50 Board of Education Monday whether a fourth section should be added to reduce class sizes.

Superintendent Bill Fritcher said adding a teacher would cost the district anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000, depending on the teacher's level of experience. The board will discuss the issue further at a special meeting set for 5:15 p.m. July 25.

The special meeting was originally set to discuss proposed buildings and grounds improvements within the district, but board President Marty Siemer indicated the class size issue would be revisited as well.

Several parents of incoming first-graders say that grade level is critical to the child's development.

"I would be more comfortable with larger class sizes in second grade," said parent Tracy Dennis. "It's so hard to transition 25 kids. It's hard enough for me to transition my three."

Fritcher admitted having 25 in each class was a "tough call."

Grade school Principal Angie Sheehan said the three teachers would be helped by two aides, one who will work mornings each day of the week, with the other working all day three days each week.

"I'm not saying it's ideal and perfect," Sheehan said. "But we've made as many changes as possible to maximize our support."

Dennis would like to see the school district maintain high standards of excellence.

"I don't want to be just as good as other school districts," she said. "I want to be better."

Parent Chad Hewing praised the board for beginning the class size discussion several months ago.

"A lot of other districts have just dropped the hammer," Hewing said. "You guys are doing a great job of being forthcoming."

Fritcher said a fourth first-grade teacher wouldn't necessarily be a first-year teacher who would cost the district less money.

Text Only
Local News
  • Naam.jpg Opinion: Plight of Christians in the Middle East

    This Saturday and Sunday millions of Christians around the world will go to church to celebrate Easter.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • tony- car collection 1.jpg A passion for wheels leads to a world-class vehicle collection

    Since the late 1970s, Arthur Trost has bought, sold, collected or restored 69 vehicles. He has kept 10 of them, many from the '50s, an era he remembers fondly.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • BRIANBLOOM-300x200.jpg Opinion: My Easter Prayer

    It was always our most solemn of holidays. Christmas was chaotic, the Christian aspect always front and center yet overshadowed by five boys anxiously awaiting the opening of gifts.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_5943.jpg Cross takes on red glow for Good Friday

    The Cross at the Crossroads hosted a Good Friday prayer service at the Welcome Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Investigator wants tougher ethics laws for legislators SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- Job recommendations and university application referrals from Illinois lawmakers should be tracked and publicized after clout-related scandals at the University of Illinois and the Metra transit agency, the General Assembly's top

    April 19, 2014

  • Medicaid paid $12M for dead Illinoisans CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo. The memo dated Friday, which The Associated Press o

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 cross walk.jpg Church goers carry cross for Good Friday

    For Effingham resident Adrian Guzman, carrying a cross across Effingham is more than symbolism. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two in hospital after chase with St. Elmo police

    Two individuals were sent to the hospital after a chase with a St. Elmo Police officer.

    April 18, 2014

  • tony- sigel 1 Sigel St. Michael breaks ground TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Want to Help? Donations are still being accepted for the addition. Donations may be mailed, dropped off at the parish offices, or placed in collection baskets. A donation wall in the renovated parish center will feature a "Giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meth suspect sentenced to 54 months NEWTON -- A man accused of cooking methamphetamine in a vehicle with a child present was sentenced in Jasper County Court Thursday. Charles "Chase" L. Shroyer, 23, was sentenced to 54 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of methamphet

    April 18, 2014

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.