ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 30, 2009 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is evaluating staffing allocated to support Kindergarten and Middle School programs for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 School Years.
The first part of the evaluation involves reducing the Kindergarten Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio (PTR) to 18:1. DoDEA expects this change to result in an overall increase of its Full Day Kindergarten teachers systemwide, and classrooms which are reduced to an 18:1 PTR will no longer be authorized a full-time aide. Under the new ratio configuration, shared aide support will be provided to assist kindergarten teachers. Changes to the Kindergarten PTR will be made in School Year 2009-2010 if there are sufficient classroom facilities available. If sufficient facilities are not available in School Year 2009-2010, the current status will remain the same.
The second part of the evaluation involves coordination with school administrators on a planning document to review Middle School programs and staffing. The review involves considering adjusting DoDEA's middle school (grades 6-8) class sizes to reflect a PTR of 25:1. (The 25 to 1 ratio does not include P.E., Health, Music, Art, AVID, and ESL.) The current Middle School PTR is 16:1. No changes will be made until a staffing review is completed in the 2009-2010 School Year.
Both evaluations are being conducted to ensure the educational environment for DoDEA students is commensurate with the educational environment students will most likely encounter during transitions in and out of stateside public schools.
The evaluations are also underway as part of a DoDEA initiative dating back one year to place a school support Resource Manager at schools with enrollments greater than 250 students in School Year 2009-2010. The Resource Manager is not a school administrator nor is it a supervisory position, but it is a school support employee who will assist principals in the day-to-day logistical duties involved in school operations. This initiative will allow principals and assistant principals to concentrate their efforts and expertise in curricular matters and student performance and achievement.
The class size adjustments proposals are currently being reviewed by principals and school superintendents. Principals and superintendents will look at their enrollment, staffing, and numbers of classrooms to determine how to best implement these proposals and discuss any challenges they may have with implementation. They will provide their feedback to DoDEA Headquarters by mid-May.
DoDEA Headquarters will convene a group to review input received from the schools and to make recommendations to the Director based on the input.