Class Size FACTS

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FCPS Middle and High School class sizes 2017/2018: 

Middle schools’ courses with number of students enrolled  posted here.

High schools’ courses with number of students  enrolled posted here.

Information shared on pages 84 and 85 of FY 2018 Budget Question Responses 3-22-17 (002) will show total enrollments for each course (e.g., Geometry) at each middle and high school.

Anecdotes on Class Sizes in the FCPS system: A CSC Anecdotes report from parents and teachers, their realities and perspective with regard to large class sizes over the past 4 years.

Class Size Legislation Updates, by State

Education Commission of the States notes which states have made updates to their class size legislation. Note who is most recent — Virginia (VA, HB 1377) See report here.
2016 September FCPS provides reports of Average Elementary Class Sizes from 2011-2015 in Student Reporting Section of newly designed FCPS website

View report for 2015

View report for 2014

View report for 2013

View report for 2012

View report for 2011

View Report  from School Board working session on November 9, 2015. Every ES class is categorized by a range number of students (19 and under, 20-27, 28-30, 20-30, 31-35) and grade level. Dr. Garza’s “triggers” as well as State of Virginia DOE maximum sizes are used to illustrate class size variations in each Region.

2014 FCPS Elementary School Actual Classroom Size Table

View table document here ES Class Sizes – FY 2015 (1). The table has data from every FCPS elementary school in the 2014-15 school year. There are three spreadsheets in this table:

1) a spreadsheet showing those classrooms that are under 20 students per class;
2) a spreadsheet showing those classrooms that are above the trigger of 27 students per class; and
3) a spreadsheet showing all elementary school-based classroom sizes.

In these spreadsheets, some schools have classes with fewer than 17 students, while others have classes with 30 or more students.  Under the $3.1 million class size initiative in the FY 2016 Advertised Budget, FCPS will allocate an aide to a 1st through 3rd grade class with over 27 students and will allocate another teacher to that grade if class sizes exceed 30 students.  For 4th through 6th grade classes, an aide will be allocated if class sizes exceed 30 students and an additional teacher will be allocated if class sizes exceed 35 students.  For these purposes, all special education students will be counted as members of the class, even though they may not be considered members of the class for purposes of the state class size cap.

The average elementary school general education class this year has about 22 students (excluding special ed students who are pulled out more than half the time) and about 23.5 students (including those special ed students), even after three increases in the countywide class sizes.  In addition, this FCPS data, which was obtained pursuant to a FOIA request this fall, shows that this fall over 1000 FCPS elementary school classes had 20 or fewer students, and hundreds had 17 or fewer students.

Large classes are a chronic issue in 2-3 dozen FCPS elementary schools plus an unknown number of middle and high schools.  In general, Local Level IV (AAP) classes and AAP Center classes have among the largest class sizes, in part because of the needs-based staffing formula.

Like visuals? Here’s the spreadsheet data in pie chart graphic form showing FCPS elementary Students Class Size per Region-Pyramids.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Class Sizes

FCPS publishes class sizes as well as other information regarding the school system including projected enrollment.  Click here to view this data. Under “Capacity & Enrollment”, select the dashboard (ES, MS, HS). Select the school you’re interested in on the left column. Note that this Dashboard website is updated by FCPS and the last update was performed on 1/16/2015. NOTE UPDATE: FCPS no longer publishes this class size information as of August 2016.

Virginia Standards of Quality (SOQ) provides guidance regarding maximum Class Size and Student-Teacher Ratios in the Standards of Quality. View these standards.

Class Size Caps in USA

Virginia has some of the highest class size caps in the United States. View class size caps across the country.

 

One thought on “Class Size FACTS

  1. Beware of “averages”. My son is a Junior at Langley. When he started elementary school, the county was still claiming that the average class size was 21 while my son had 30 in his classes. As you mention, when the class size gets too big, the middle two quartiles get the short end of the resource stick. From my experience, an education system can have the greatest impact on the “middle-achievers” who are generally capable and talented so that a little extra effort to help them can produce significant improvement in their lives. It seems that the attitude of the education system is that B and C students simply lack will power or something, rather than realizing that a little more attention to that group can have a very large impact on the overall success of the system.

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