Duval County students get reshuffled to cut class sizes

by: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax Updated:

Duval County Public Schools are reshuffling classes, a month and a half into the school year.

That means kids are being moved to new classrooms with new teachers, and some parents aren’t happy.

The point of having smaller class sizes is making sure students get the individual attention they need to learn. 

But Holli Dean said the sudden change has been disruptive to her son, who’s in first grade at Kernan Trail Elementary School.

More than a month after her son’s first day of class, Dean got a letter from the school saying her son would move to a new first grade classroom the very next day.

“First, I was shocked,” Dean said. “Then I was worried how I was going to break it to my son.”

Duval County Public Schools’ spokesperson said the district is shuffling around teachers and students to meet class size requirements, and the changes could continue through next week.

The district spokesperson said it’s happening now because of enrollment changes after the school year already started.

“He said, ‘Well, mommy, I have a best friend in my class. Is he going to move with me?’ And I didn’t know if he was. And it turns out that he did not move with him,” Dean said.

Dean emailed State Sen. Aaron Bean’s office.

A Bean legislative aide emailed her back saying cutting class size has cost the state money because more classes means more teachers, classrooms and supplies.

“It’s just not what I envisioned when I was looking at the class size amendment and trying to figure out whether I wanted to vote for it,” Dean said.

Action News Jax asked DCPS for a list of schools where classes were added after the start of the new school year as a result of class size requirements. 

The district spokesperson said DCPS won’t have those records finalized for another 10 days.

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