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Joplin school officials address overcrowding at Irving Elementar - KOAM TV 7

Joplin school officials address overcrowding at Irving Elementary, some students to move schools

Updated:
Joplin school officials say the ideal elementary class size ranges between 20 to 25 students. This year, Irving Elementary has exceeded that number, with some classes averaging 25 to 30 students.  

"So we've been thinking about this year, how can we alleviate those numbers, make those class sizes smaller and get our numbers back to a more appropriate size for the school," said Jennifer Doshier, executive director of elementary education.

The answer: moving some Irving students to McKinley and West Central Elementary schools,  

"They have room for expansion and growth and we have an opportunity to start having some conversations with parents," said Huff.

On Monday, officials invited the parents whose children will be impacted to discuss the plans. 

"They reacted. They're going to fix it. They found a viable way to fix it," said Dawn Kimmel, an Irving Elementary parent.

The two residential areas that will see the change include from Main street to Illinois avenue, between 7th Street and 10th Street, and the Michigan Place Apartments." 

"We've seen a tremendous amount of redevelopment in the disaster zone, even more so than we would have expected," said Huff.

Twenty students will move to West Central and 72 students to McKinley.

While Kimmel says this change will be fine for her son, she understands others may have a different opinion. 

"I can see how some families will take this a little harder, with their kids being taken away from familiar friends and the environment and teachers," she said.

"We have to take a look at tweaking our attendance boundaries in order to create the space we need so we have highly functional elementary schools and reduced class size to make sure we're balanced district-wide," said Huff. He says the change would have to happen before the next school year. 


Officials plan to have another informative meeting, possibly at the Michigan Place Apartments, to hear more input from parents.  



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