JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Every year, federal dollars are given to county school systems to help with downsizing in classrooms that need it. "It makes these classes smaller when there are not enough teachers. It's not funded with state funds and it helps when we combine it with local funds," said Jackson County Superintendent Kevin Dukes.
Dukes said they try to keep younger grade levels in smaller groups. They also look at total class sizes, poverty levels and learning disabilities among students. "The smaller the class the more individualized instruction, and the better the results are going to be. We're excited about it and think it's going to be beneficial to the students that it will affect."
Students are not the only ones affected by this decision. For example, Section's 3rd-grade unit went from one class of 30 students to now two classes of 15. "Just with 15 at times we do have some challenging behaviors, but I feel 15 is an ideal number in a classroom," said Laura Finch, a teacher at Section.
Finch said the smaller groups allow for more one on one time with her students. "I'm able to get to know my students better, the needs of my students. If I pull students, I can help them in specific materials or objectives that they need help with in the classroom."
Help that will hopefully set them on a path to success. Jackson County Schools that have downsized classes include Bridgeport Middle, Dutton, Flat Rock, Hollywood, Macedonia, Section, Skyline, and Woodville.