Kate Smith Overcrowding

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School officials in Washington County say they're having to make some major adjustments to accommodate the state's class size requirements.

Seventeen portable classrooms and a few extra teachers later and Kate Smith Elementary is labeled over crowded.

Calvin Stevenson, Washington County Superintendent, says, "The goal of the Washington County School Board is to eliminate as many portables as possible. We would like permanent classrooms."

School Superintendent Calvin Stephenson says he has many options on the table to address the issue.

"The School Board at this time is looking into the possibility of building some additional classrooms, possibly over at the Roulac site, a fifth grade classroom a or possibly looking at building a three, four and five school off campus."

That would be good news for teachers and students, both that hated to see a stuffed tiger and giraffe leave to make room for more tables in the cafeteria and the library.

Rhonda Creel, an ESE teacher, says, "As our school has grown and we've been able to receive more students to come to our school, we were very sad that we had to give our animals away."

The governor's current proposal to change the 2002 class size amendment would also ease the pain by allowing the Washington School Board to stay district wide with their class size requirements.

"When you have seven or eight or nine classrooms and you've gotten those down to 18-1, and then all of a sudden a few kids move in then you've gone over the limit."

Kate Smith started this school year with 971 students, it currently have 989 enrolled.

School Board members could also face a problem if and when Deane Bozeman School reaches capacity and Bay district school officials stop allowing Washington County students to attend.