SAGE backed by school committeeELLSWORTH — Appeals to keep the program were made as the local review committee presented a Student Achievement Guarantee in Education report to the Ellsworth School Board on Monday.
By: Bill Kirk, Pierce County Herald, The Republican Eagle
ELLSWORTH — Appeals to keep the program were made as the local review committee presented a Student Achievement Guarantee in Education report to the Ellsworth School Board on Monday.
Curriculum and Instruction Director/Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Leona Johnson outlined data the committee analyzed regarding the program, which promotes reduced class sizes in elementary schools through third-grade. Included were:
• State guidelines and the philosophy behind SAGE
• Ellsworth district's current waiver
• The state Department of Public Instruction's response to this year's program in Ellsworth
• Current class numbers and projected numbers for next year
• Budget impacts of keeping SAGE next year
• Projected class sizes without SAGE and average class sizes at area schools
The district will have to be fully compliant with SAGE's student-teacher ratios in 2010-11 to continue receiving funding. The committee will submit a local compliance plan by Feb. 1.
If the district doesn't continue its participation, it can't reapply for SAGE funds in the future, committee members noted. A ratio of one teacher to 15 students is a benefit of continuing.
Regarding enrollment, the committee examined three scenarios: one with SAGE classrooms for next year; one without SAGE, yet keeping class sizes at 22 or fewer students; and one without SAGE, yet with class sizes at 25 or fewer.
Subsidies from the state are expected to be close to $260,000; the SAGE subsidy is $2,250 for each low-income child served.
"SAGE costs the district approximately $100,000 a year," Johnson said, indicating six teachers are available to the program locally.
Supt. Barry Cain suggested proceeding with the Feb. 1 report, which "doesn't commit us to SAGE."
A parent and a teacher spoke about how the program benefits students.
The board took no action.