We introduced a lot of material at last week’s Town Hall. There are a number of exciting changes occurring in both the Primary and Secondary schools. This week we wanted to communicate a little bit more about optimization, especially in the Primary School.
Cherokee Christian Schools is closer to full than you might think. There are two numbers at play that are relevant to consider. The first is the plant capacity. We have done our studying and determined that our physical space doesn’t allow for more than 24 students to be in a room. Certainly a space like the gym is an exception, but the classrooms function optimally with no more than 24 students.
The second number is the instructional ratio. Next year, CCS is committing to an average instructional ratio of 1:12 in the Primary School. That is one employee per twelve students. Each classroom teacher is being provided full day support in the form of instructional assistants. Which is how we arrive at our average. The important thing to remember is that this is an average. One of the things this permits the teacher is the liberty to structure breakout instruction as necessary. So in the event that a 2nd grade class needs to spend more time working on Math drills, the instructional assistant may take 7 or 8 students down to the Book Nook for some reading time. In that case, the ratio changes for that instance, but the average remains the same.
This is a pretty significant shift in thinking. What we’re trying to capture has been described as the difference between Optimization rather than Maximization. Some learning takes place best as part of a group, at other times it requires a one on one interaction. In the Secondary School, some learning is best accomplished by using a larger room like the Theater to deliver a lecture hall style experience. Using the instructional ratio allows us to flex into whatever a situation calls for. We take our facilities and design them to support the student body we believe they can serve Optimally rather than trying to fill as many desks as possible.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on resource rooms and how they’ll be serving broader programs!
Director of Academics