The economy may be shrinking, but school enrollments in towns around Sioux Falls continue to grow. Lennox is now considering a cap on class sizes to help control the growth and benefit the kids.
A fifth grade math class is Lennox' largest class in the district with 26 kids. Administrators say it's a few too many and can actually hurt learning.
"Interaction with the teacher, for one thing. Less students in class equals more one-on-one time with the teacher," Lennox Superintendent Pat Jones said.
Many classes in Lennox have 20 or more students at a time, and the district receives several open-enrollment requests throughout the year. That, along with the distraction too many students can bring, is why administrators are looking to limit class sizes at Lennox Elementary for kindergarten through third grade to 18 students.
"We don't have anything by policy or practice as to what our maximum class sizes are. So that's why we're studying it," Jones said.
Because the district serves Lennox, Chancellor and Worthing, class sizes go from as large as 26 to as small as nine.
"We have a very unique situation. Three communities, each with their own level of growth, but we try to look for what's best for everyone in the district," Jones said.
Jones says it may mean hiring more teachers and adding more class sections at Lennox Elementary, but he supports it to improve the quality of classroom time.
Jones says if the district does put a cap on class sizes at Lennox Elementary, there would still be room for more students at the elementary schools in Worthing and Chancellor. School board members will discuss the issue at their March 9 meeting.