Pre-K enrollment on the rise as classrooms get even more crowded

FILE - Classroom (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Classroom (KXAN File Photo)

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — With more than 800 pre-kindergarten students enrolling in Pflugerville schools this 2017-2018 year, one viewer reached out to KXAN with concerns about classroom safety. We learned the district is already taking steps to balance out the numbers.

The Pflugerville Independent School District says their average pre-K class has a 20-to-1 student/teacher ratio. In English pre-K classes, that ratio jumps to 22.5 students to one teacher.

Also, in recent weeks, the district has added 11 pre-K students who have been displaced by the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

PfISD sent out a letter Friday to all parents of pre-Kindergartners to inform them about the increasing popularity of their full-day pre-K program.

In order to balance and/or address the rise in pre-K enrollment, representatives of the district say they are taking the following actions:

  • Creating an additional class and hiring an additional pre-K teacher at Delco Primary
  • Creating an additional class and hiring an additional pre-K teacher at Brookhollow Elementary
  • Any single-language class currently with more than 22 pre-K students is capped; any new pre-K enrollees will attend the newly created Brookhollow Elementary School class
  • Any single-language class currently with more than 24 students will now utilize an additional teaching assistant; primarily to assist during class transitions

The district anticipates that the two new teachers at both schools will be in place within the next week.

At PfISD schools, every pre-K classroom has at least one educational aide in addition to the teacher. We’re told that until the second classroom is opened and the new teacher is hired at Delco Primary, there are three adults (including the teacher and two educational aides) in the classroom for a 10-to-1 adult-to-student ratio.

Most parents we spoke with say they’re just happy that the district is taking action, before enrollment becomes a bigger issue.

The state of Texas, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), does not require a specific ration of students to teachers for pre-kindergarten classes. Therefore, by law, there is no cap on how many pre-K kids can be in one classroom.

However, state law does require a 22-to-1 student to teacher ratio for children in kindergarten through fourth grades.

To learn more information about PfISD’s pre-Kindergarten program, click here.

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