Average class sizes in Carroll County elementary, middle and high schools declined slightly from last year, a recent study shows.
The most significant changes occurred at the elementary and high school levels, where the numbers of classes with 30 or more students dropped by eight and 19, respectively.
The Staffing Analysis and Class Size Report was presented at the December meeting of the Board of Education.
The average elementary class size on Sept. 30 was 24.73 students, down from 24.9 last year. The number of elementary school classes with 30 or more students dropped from 84 last year to 76 this year.
In middle school, academic classes averaged 26.96 students per class, down from 27.34 last year. The number of classes with 30 or more students was 341, compared with 344 last year.
In high school, the average class size for academic courses was 22.9, compared with 23.6 last year. The number of classes with 30 or more students was 216, compared with 235 last year.
Dorothy L. "Dottie" Mangle, director of elementary education, said the figures will increase during the school year because of growth in the county, but she said administrators anticipate that growth by hiring more staff.
"We've found that is supported by our county commissioners. It is always a very high priority when they get into developing the budget."
She said officials determine how many more instructors they will need after reviewing data gathered by facilities planners, who analyze housing sales and birth rates.
She said class-size statistics for the high schools carry less significance because the curriculum is more varied.
For example, advanced Spanish or Computer Programming II will have fewer students than will English I or physical education, required courses that cannot be kept small, she said.