The Seattle school district has only budgeted Thornton Creek to have two 4th grade classes, two 5th grade classes and one mixed 4th/5th class for 2015-16, even though there are three 3rd grade classes and three 4th grade classes moving up.
Grades 4 and 5 are currently 140 students. The plan would be to have 2 fourth grade classes and 2 fifth grade classes of 29 kids each, and 1 slightly smaller mixed age class for 4th/5th grade.
A group of concerned parents has created an online petition requesting a sixth class at 4th/5th grade.
Maintaining a sixth class would enable Thornton Creek to remain a viable option for the district to assign additional students, especially when nearby neighborhood schools are bursting at the seams. The planned allocation of five classes at 4th and 5th for 2015-16 would remove that option, since the school would be considered full in that configuration.
It is common to have additional students added to Thornton Creek over the summer months. If this trend continues, the district will have to add another teacher before September 2015 to meet the collective bargaining agreement. We believe it would be optimal to allocate funds for a sixth teacher immediately versus waiting until September, to allow time to pro-actively hire from a larger candidate pool and train a new teacher.
Indeed, it appears that TC has a waitlist at nearly all grade levels.