Clarkston School District deals with large class sizes for some grades

CLARKSTON, WA - Students in the Valley are back in the classroom and ready to hit the books, as we continue our series of reports focused on the challenges in the classroom of local schools.

The first day of school has come and gone for Clarkston students and teachers which means now the real work begins. Executing strict curricula is a top priority for the staff at Clarkston High School.

"We really focus on getting them ready to leave high school and be employable or go on to school," said Family and Consumer Science Teacher Debbie Romesburg.

Romesburg said she wants students to feel as prepared as possible. Principal Eric Anderson said while they focus heavily on core classes, consumer science courses are also important.

"We believe that a student that goes through our program, any of our classes will be prepared for their college or their career whichever they choose to do after wards," said Anderson.

"Getting kids engaged in school is the main focus of our whole school," said Romesburg. "Having kids be involved outside the classroom always makes them more successful."

"We want to make sure we keep as many doors open for our students as possible," said Anderson.

While teachers are working to keep test scores up and opportunities vast, the district deals with high class numbers for some grade levels.

"We were expecting about 203 students in the freshman class," said Anderson. We're sitting at about 216 right now."

"It's always challenging to have more than 25 kids in a classroom and you just have to deal with that," said Romesburg.

Anderson said he expects the numbers to level out and Superintendent Darcy Weisner isn't concerned about the initially high numbers either.

"We're over in some classes so administrators and schools are trying to level those out as best as we possibly can," said Weisner.

Both Weisner and Anderson expect finalized enrollment numbers next week, as students who moved away are accounted for and new students are placed into the system.

Weisner said the scores of the Measurements of Student Progress test or MSP that replaced the WASL in 2009, were released Wednesday. He said there was a significant improvement in math and reading across all grades, and they hope to continue to keep improving scores for this year.