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ACGC School Board weighing up combining 1st, 2nd grades at Cosmos elementary school

GROVE CITY -- First- and second-grade students attending the elementary school in Cosmos could be sharing a classroom and a teacher next year.

The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board is considering combining the two grades because of low student numbers. The enrollment for first-graders at ACGC South is expected to be eight to 10 students. The second grade will have 12 to 13 students.

Putting the two classes together would save the district about $50,000, said Superintendent Sherri Broderius.

The proposal was discussed during a meeting Monday night with Broderius, two school board members and parents of the students.

Broderius said the parents had concerns about putting the two grades together. They asked what training the teacher would have and questioned if students would be distracted while the teacher was working with one grade while the other grade was being helped by a paraprofessional in another part of the room, said Broderius.

She acknowledged there wasn't a great deal of spoken support for the proposal by the parents who attended the meeting, although one parent said concerns were likely based on "fear of change" and "fear of the unknown."

Some agreed that if two classes were to be combined, it would be this group because of the low numbers. ACGC South has classes through fourth grade. After that, all ACGC students go to the middle/high school in Grove City.

Broderius said the proposal is just in the beginning discussion stages and no action was taken.

Meanwhile, the district was asked to provide some additional information to the state regarding the elementary school schedule for a proposed four-day school week ACGC intends to implement this fall.

Broderius said the state sent ACGC's application back requesting more details. She said the new information has been completed and the application sent back to the state this week. ACGC needs state approval before the alternative calendar can go forward.