Class sizes a concern for parents at last rightsizing meeting

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News 12 This Morning/ Friday, Feb. 21, 2014

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW) -- It's round four of rightsizing town hall meetings as Richmond County school leaders consider the closing and combining of some schools.

This latest option-- merging elementary schools National Hills and Garrett.

"I do not like the idea of them merging,"said Elizabeth Carter. "I actually like National Hills."

Carter's son is a Pre-k student at National Hills.

Her main concern about the proposed merger-- class size.

"Being here where [there aren't] so many kids and the teachers are really hands on with the students because of the small classroom setting, I just think that they'll be able to monitor him better," Carter said.

In the 2011-12 school year, National Hills had a population of 224. Garret, a population of 303.

So, blending the two schools could mean a population of more than 500.

"The idea of so many kids being together...I just wouldn't trust my son going to that school," said Carter. "I just feel like it'll be chaotic."

At the fourth and final rightsizing meeting, other parents spoke out about the same issue

"To me, large classroom sizes are a recipe for disaster," said Donna Anderson at the meeting.

An issue the principal at Garret addressed.

"We all want smaller classes and that would obviously be a parental concern and if it did come to bigger classes national hills has an excellent staff," said Doug Frierson, principal at Garret Elementary. "We have an excellent staff and it would be handled well."

For Carter, if the merger goes through, she says she's not sure she'd keep her son at Garret.

"If they end up saying he has to go to Garret, I may just find him another school," she said.

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