Several Oregon school districts struggling with overcrowding - KPTV - FOX 12

Several Oregon school districts struggling with overcrowding

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Several of Oregon's largest school districts are struggling with overcrowding and bloated class sizes.

According to numbers reported to the Department of Education for the 2016-17 school year, the Salem-Keizer School District had a median class size of 27 students, compared to the state average of 25.

But that figure doesn't tell the whole story. The district also had nearly 2,500 classrooms with between 25 and 36 students, and 288 classrooms had between 36 and 45 students.

The Beaverton School District, by comparison, also had a median class size of 27 students, but had 2,588 classrooms with between 26 and 35 students, and 281 classrooms with 36-45 students.

Portland Public Schools had 54 classrooms with more than 36 students.

In the Salem-Keizer district, Gubser Elementary School has grown by 130 students over the last three years, and several classes have more than 30 students.

"I would say comfort level is low in terms of we don't have the ideal situation that we would want," said Dave Bertholf, Gubser's Principal.

The school added a full-time teacher, but doesn't have the physical space to make class sizes smaller, Bertholf said.

To ease overcrowding, lunch groups are split up, with kids who bring their own lunch sitting in a separate group away from the cafeteria.

Gym class, meanwhile, can have up to 70 kids at once.

"The truth is they can't get as much attention from the adults that they need and deserve," said Christy Perry, Salem-Keizer's Superintendent.

The district is putting together a $620 million bond proposal to address overcrowding, which would include an expansion at Gubser.

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