Bumper Crop of 6th Graders Flood Middle School

Most 6th grade teachers cannot remember a class larger than the 93 members of this year’s 6th grade.

The most immediate effect of the large class has been a bigger workload for the 6th grade teachers. Along with teaching five class periods out of six instead of the usual four, 6th grade history teacher Mr. Andy Lawson said that the average time to grade a quiz or test has increased about 25 percent — or about 45 minutes.

“The 6th grade teachers were prepared for this,” Lawson said.

Adding extra sections to teachers’ course loads has allowed the middle school to keep individual sections capped at 18 students, although most teachers agree that 93 students in a grade is the limit.

“Eighteen students per class is optimal,” 6th grade science teacher Ms. Kathleen Peterson said.

While the overall size of the 6th grade may mean that some students may not receive as much individualized attention during class, teachers said that there are always ways to seek help at Stratford.

“It’s harder for the teacher to give individual attention when there’s so many, but we still try our best, and tutorial is a good time for students seeking additional help,” said Ms. Lynn Massey, the 6th grade math teacher.

Peterson said that she was confident that teachers, students, and parents would quickly adjust to the big 6th grade.

“You can’t blame parents for wanting their kids to go here because it’s a wonderful school,” Peterson said, adding that while the first few weeks of school may be hectic, “Once you get to know their individual personalities, it all seems like it’s going to be okay.”