Some Sachem elementary schools may have, or possibly already have, sections broken into smaller class sizes very close to or after Tuesday’s first day of school in the Sachem Central School District.
The Sachem Central School District Board of Education discussed this situation at Wednesday’s meeting at Samoset Middle School, as two elementary school sections were very likely to be in this situation with four other sections being monitored.
Board president Robert Scavo told Patch that one kindergarten section at Tamarac and a second grade section in Wenonah are very likely to be split. Sections being monitored through Friday as possibly needing to be split are one second grade section at Hiawatha, one fourth grade section at Hiawatha, one kindergarten section at Waverly and one fourth grade section at Tecumseh.
Scavo said that a decision would be made no later than Friday on these sections, and Patch has reached out to both Scavo and the district to find out if that decision has been made.
However, it was hinted during the meeting that Sachem has historically sometimes needed to break sections as late as Labor Day. Trustee Douglas Duncan said Friday cutoffs have not stopped the district in the past.
Scavo said that the situation is complicated by the possibility of new students moving into the district over the Labor Day weekend, which could cause the existing sections to overfill and necessitate the last-minute break.
Superintendent James Nolan said that breaking the sections would be good for students as they would have a smaller class size, but the bad news for some people would be a student being notified they would be in one class but instead being moved into another.
Trustee Michael Timo said that a choice in the past for this situation has been to bring in a teaching assistant to help teach a larger class instead of breaking one that has already been established, but he would rather break the class even if it’s after the first day of school.
Nolan said that other than through Friday morning, the one other way a possible section break could occur would be if a family were to register a new student on Tuesday.
Scavo told Patch that should a last-minute section break occur, parents have been traditionally notified by phone.
Patch asked residents Wednesday night on the Sachem Patch Facebook Page what they would think about a possible break of a section after the first day of school.
“Definitely. Smaller classes are better. Kids can handle change better than adults can,” Laura Avon Silvia-Balkam writes.
Bronna Cohen Silverman has the exact opposite sentiment.
“Against! Children are excited to have the teacher they received, usually. I know my child would be very upset if she was pulled after being with a teacher.,” Silverman writes. “Most children do not do well with change. Especially elementary age children. Please don't do that to them.”
Matching with Hiawatha being listed as possibly needing to be monitored, Eileen Festa Gelardi writes that she received a call that teacher notifications were being delayed.
Additionally, Patch received a tip Friday from a Sachem parent, claiming that his child has already been re-assigned to a different kindergarten class. Patch has put out a Facebook status asking if other residents are in a similar situation, and while there is an ongoing discussion going on there as of 3:20 p.m. Saturday, there has not so far been mention of this from other parents.What are your thoughts on the possibility of last-minute shakeups to the school sections? Is your student possibly being moved from one section to another, or has that happened in previous years? Talk about it in the comments section below.