Some parents are concerned about increased kindergarten class sizes at this year, saying that it will diminish educational quality.
Debbie Ronan, mother of a kindergartener at , challenged the Northport-East Northport Board of Education's decision to raise the cap of kindergarten classes to 22 students at Monday's BOE meeting. Last year, the average class size was about 15 students.
"The kids have less time in the building so there should be less kids in the class," she said.
Superintendent Marylou McDermott explained that the measure was done for economic reasons; by having only two kindergarten classes, the district will save money on teacher salaries. Each class will be staffed by two certified full-time teaching assistants.
Ronan maintained that having three sections of kindergarten, each with one part-time teacher, was the ideal solution to keep class sizes low and questioned where money is saved in the district's plan.
"Half time teachers are only paid half their salary with no benefits, so if you have one teacher with one class at one school, she wouldn't get benefits, as opposed to the teaching assistant who has benefits but doesn't get paid as much--what's the cost difference?" she asked.
Another woman with a kindergartener at Bellerose said she shares Ronan's concerns about increased class size.
"My son is a very active child and some of the children in his class are also very active," she said. "It's almost hard to imagine the experience being what they need for kindergarten in that short amount of time with that number of kids."
*Editor's Note: This article incorrectly stated that Northport-East Northport Schools switched to half-day kindergarten last year.