Jefferson City parents angry about overcrowding

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JEFFERSON CITY - The issue concerning the overcrowding of fifth grade students at East Elementary School came to a discussion of many unhappy parents and staff at a school board meeting Monday night.

East Elementary School has the largest fifth grade classes in the district. Two of the classes have more than 20 students, which makes the classrooms overcrowded.

KOMU 8 received e-mails from parents that they sent to the board and Superintendent Brian Mitchell pleading to fix the issue, urging that it will improve their children's learning environment. 

One letter from parent Delora Scaggs states, "The issue is space!! Although not the most ideal, we suggested bringing in another mobile unit. This would allow another teacher to be hired and would serve for space should another grade level become overcrowded (which generally occurs--see our kindergarten numbers). This suggestion has been denied, although everyone is thoroughly aware that there is no more available space at East School, therefore, our students are relegated to being in overcrowded classrooms."

When asked, JCPS said mobile classrooms are a possible option.

"Mobile classrooms have been utilized in the past in the district, and that's not an option that's off the table for future needs," Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Relations, Amy Berendzen said. "Realizing a lot of our buildings and facilities are up there in the age and were somewhat landlocked on some of our facilities, not all of them based on availability to expand the existing infrastructure but there may be instances in which we may have to bring in a mobile classroom."

The board said no decision has been made yet, but it will listen and work closely with the administrative team to make the most effective changes regarding overcrowding.