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Williamsville School Board hears concerns about larger class sizes

Williamsville School Board members heard concerns about large class sizes Tuesday night.

Two parents said they have heard classes at Heim Elementary School may be reaching the upper limits of district guidelines. It’s something the board has heard in past years.

“We will continue to monitor our class sizes at every school,” Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff said. “We do everything we can to make sure our class sizes are within the guidelines set by the Board of Education.”

But he said August is a time that many families are moving into and out of the district, and class sizes are not yet set.

Several board members said class size is key to the success of students.

“I am a Heim parent,” Board Member Teresa Leatherbarrow said. “I know it really is a very pressing issue.”

“It is front and center on our radar going into the new school year,” Martzloff said.

The superintendent said an aide or a teacher may be added, if class sizes swell. Board Member Suzanne Van Sice urged administrators to consider adding teachers before aides.

On another issue, the board is considering a policy allowing board members to attend meetings electronically when they are out of town.

The board Tuesday night gave Board Member Shawn Lemay permission to call in to the executive session the board plans to hold before its Sept. 16 board meeting.

“This is not just for myself,” he said.

He said board members, who serve as volunteers, should be allowed to participate when they are out of town if they wish.

He said he is going out of town on business, and would like to phone in remotely from the privacy of his hotel room. He suggested the board come up with a policy on the practice.

“How would the board address situations where maybe a board member is using the policy in way to not attend board meetings as often as they should in person,” Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff asked.

The board had questions on how to craft a legal policy, and directed that a draft policy be drawn up for its review.

Board members scheduled three community forums Oct. 1, Jan. 28 and April 29. The board held the forums last year to improve communication with the community.

Board members also decided they will use their personal email addresses, and not a district email when communicating with the public. Toni Vazquez, board president, said she had been told Tuesday by the district clerk that the personal email addresses have been printed in the district calendar.


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