School officials working out details to alleviate classroom overcrowding at Greywolf

SEQUIM — Sequim School District administrators have decided to keep students at Greywolf Elementary School for now despite overcrowding at first- and third-grade levels.

Superintendent Gary Neal said administrators considered a couple of different options throughout the past few weeks to alleviate the overload of students at Greywolf, including possibly shifting students from Greywolf to Helen Haller Elementary School — an option he said will sit on the district’s back burner for the time being.

After meeting with administration staff last Tuesday, Neal said at this point the district is looking into opening more class sections at the first- and third-grade levels to even out the balance of students in kindergarten through fourth grades.

“What we’re looking at doing at this time to relieve the overload is to form some new class sections,” Neal said.

“By doing that we will actually be able to have K-4 all under 24 kids in classrooms.”

As of Aug. 31, enrollment totals for first grade at Greywolf were 107 students, four class sections and an average of almost 27 students per class. Third-grade enrollment totals amounted to 90 students, three class sections and an average of 30 students per class.

Neal said the details of where in the school and when the new class sections will open is to be determined. He plans to work with the Sequim Education Association and honor the collective bargaining agreements established to get more input on the situation.

“We might have some opportunity to fill some positions and then to follow the collective bargaining agreement of what we can do to make that happen,” Neal said.

“If we have more people looking at the problem, you are going to get some better ideas,” he said.

Neal said he has not set a date to meet with the association and is still working out the details of opening more class sections.

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Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

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