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Success Story: Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center

Speaking Up at Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center

The Challenge

With the student-to-teacher ratio at 27:1 (despite a school board policy of a 22:1 maximum), the teachers at Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center in Middletown, Delaware, found themselves struggling to fully meet the needs of their students. Many of the students, with and without special needs, required small-group and individual attention to catch up to the expectations for kindergarten students. But the school was busting at the seams with no space to add a new classroom.

The Action

The local PTA informed the families of all students in the school about the effect high student-to-teacher ratios had on student achievement, and notified school district authorities of the situation. In partnership with families and school staff, the PTA then explored possible solutions and presented a proposal to the school board.

The Impact

Parents identified a problem affecting their children’s education, collaborated with other parents and teachers under a common goal, and helped develop and present a solution to an established group able to effect change. They saw their efforts pay off in the growth of their children. The school board allocated funds to hire paraprofessionals for every affected classroom in both of the district’s kindergarten centers, ensuring students received the guidance and attention they needed to succeed.