School Overcrowding Hampers Washington County

School officials in Washington County say they are having to make some major adjustments to accommodate Florida’s new class size requirements.

17 portable classrooms and a few extra teachers later and Kate Smith Elementary School in Chipley is still labeled as overcrowded

Calvin Stephenson is Washington County School Superintendent. “The goal of the Washington County School Board is to eliminate as many portables as possible. We would like permanent classrooms.”

Stephenson told NewsChannel Seven he has many options on the table to address the issue. “The School Board is looking at this time into the possibility of building some additional classrooms, possibly over at the Roulac school site. A fifth grade classroom, or possibly building a campus of 3rd 4th and 5th grade classrooms.”

The Governor’s current class size proposal would change the 2002 Class Size Amendment to help ease the growing pains. The plan would allow Washington County to use district wide figures with its class wide requirements rather than use individual classroom figures.

Kate Smith School started the school year with 971 students. It is currently way over the limit with 989 pupils.

School Board Members could face another problem in about a year when Bay County’s Deanne Bozeman Learning Center reaches capacity and stops allowing Washington County students to cross s over and attend school there.


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