Design Capacity is a formula to determine the number of students that can be accommodated in a school. For example, in states like Maryland, Kindergarten classrooms have a design capacity of 22 pupils and 23 for Grade 1 to 5 students. In North Carolina, the focus is on class size; state policy calls for no more than 17 second or third grade students per teacher.
The Education Commission of the 50 States provides state-by-state comparisons of teacher-student ratios and other school variables. For grading a plan purposes, reference will be made to either the enrollment-capacity ratio or the teacher-student ratio as Percent Utilization.
Exceeding 100% Utilization is Overcrowding
Your School Plan shows present and future Percent Utilization of all public schools. While exceeding the ratios by a few percentage points does not necessarily mean that education quality will decline, a continued rise in overcrowding can only make it more likely.
A New Plan for Your Area if your current plan is about to expire or rates poorly based on the Quality of Life Growth Management system, we can assist you in carrying out the outlined steps and/or conduct a community workshop and assist you in formulating a planning strategy for your community.
School Overcrowding Solutions options include existing school buildings expansion, new school construction, magnet programs and incentives to attract students to schools with excess capacity. More extreme solutions include temporary portable classrooms, a moratorium on adding students to already excessively crowded schools and redistricting.
Suggested Criteria student enrollment as a percent of school capacity; or teacher-student ratios that compare with established standards or regional and statewide norms.
Frequently Asked Questions does your plan have
criteria for assessing the impact of past and anticipated growth;
current percent utilization for each public school in the planning area;
anticipated growth percent utilization for each school.
For schools projecting greater than 100 percent utilization, what are your recommendations for resolving overcrowding backed by the research confirming the effectiveness of each action.
A Quality of Life factor of 5 or A is scored if all your public schools are at or below 100 percent utilization presently and with anticipated growth.
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