Administrators make the move

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Administrators make the move

Matthew Healy, Staff Writer

Over the class size, but not enough teachers. The student-to-teacher ratio is currently at twenty-five to one, but the budget and school size cannot achieve this limit on its own. Without the financial means to reach this limit, Miami-Dade  found a loophole to the twenty-five to one ratio through co-teaching.

“I was taken out of a class with thirty-five kids, to get put into a class of thirty-three and a guy sleeping on the side,” junior Juan Leon said.

The budget cuts have limited the amount of teachers Miami Palmetto Senior High can hire. The class size limit is increasingly hard to achieve with limited teachers, space, and newly enrolled students, so  counselors and assistant principals have to sit in on classes over the twenty-five-student limit.

“The AP level students should be able to handle large classes, but the lower twenty-five percent who need more attention are going to feel the effect,” Assistant Principal Clint Bales said.

Currently Miami-Palmetto Senior High has fifty-five classes over the twenty-five-student per class amendment and is no longer letting students into classes over twenty-five students, stating that students will have to either take the class on-line or take the class with a co-teacher. As a whole, Miami-Dade has a ninety-six percent compliance with the twenty-five-student amendment; Miami-Dade will be fined five million dollars if they do not reach one hundred percent compliance.

“Co-teaching depends entirely on the teacher and the co-teacher, with a good teacher and a co-teacher the co-teaching program has the potential to be great,” Dr. Amy Schaffer, AP Psychology teacher, said.

Students are not the only ones affected by the co-teaching situation. Counselors and other faculty members  lose time meant for student advancement. With counselors and other faculty members co-teaching, once-convenient times to visit no longer exist: before-school and after-school hours have been eradicated due to counselors teaching.

Co-teaching has also taken counselors and other administrators out of their offices for large amounts of the day. Work gets backed up,  and parent-teacher conferences have drastically dropped from around twenty per day to about two per day.

“In general with one hour less in our day and shorter application times, it hinders our ability to do something expeditiously and also cuts down on availability for parents and students to reach us,” counselor Harry Nerenberg said.

Co-teaching also limits extra-curricular events since Activities Director Angela Lima co-teaches three classes a day

“Whenever I have to plan an event,” Lima said, “it makes me think twice about adding additional events to oversee.”

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