Teachers Prepare for Elementary School Squeeze
COLUMBIA - Elementary school students may feel a bit squeezed in some elementary school classrooms. School officials said classrooms throughout the district are full. But they're opportunistic no class will be over capacity.
According to district officials the crowded classrooms come from the fact as Columbia continues to grow there are many new students in the district.
Columbia Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said he's keeping an eye on the situation, but with budget cuts, hiring new teachers is tough.
"A big part of that has do with class because we don't have the budget we used to have.." said Stiepleman, "So having oversized classrooms are not good for students, it's not good for teachers, and it's not good for schools."
Anita Davis is a first grade teacher at Alpha Hart Lewis. Her classroom has 20 seats, but the school estimates she could have as many as 25 students.
"I see Mr. Boatman is going from class to class counting chairs and trying to figure out if we're going to have enough chairs and room.." said Davis, "The accommodations are just tight right now."
Davis also said she knows the district is working to figure out the class size situation and that when the first day comes she and the other teachers will make do.
"We're always ready," said Davis, " I mean I truly believe it looks like it's all in shambles right now, but it's kind of like a wedding it just all comes together at the last minute and it works."
Officials said they'll have to wait for the first day to see the actual number of students.