Oversize classes on the decline

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Classrooms with far too many students in the city’s public schools have continued a downward trend this year, according to the United Federation of Teachers.

On the 10th day of school this year, there were 2,181 oversized classes in 411 schools, compared to 2,525 classes in 465 schools last year, the report said.
The contract between the city’s education department and the union sets class size limits. Some of the stipulations include 25 students in kindergarten, 32 in first through sixth grades, and 34 in high school.

Under an expedited arbitration process, schools have 10 class days to resolve the overages. In cases where this is not brought into compliance, the union goes to arbitration.

Schools with the most oversized classes are Benjamin Cardozo and Francis Lewis high schools in Queens, and Medgar Evers College Prep School in Brooklyn, respectively. No school from the union’s top 10 list was located in the northwest Bronx, according to its website.

Ed department steps up anti-bullying

The city’s education department will ramp up its efforts to fight bullying and provide safe learning environments for students.

Part of the initiative includes a bullying compliant portal, community workshops on prevention, and funding for student organizations like Respect for All clubs, according to a release from schools chancellor Carmen Fariña.

There will be “targeted support” for 300 schools with high rates of bullying who will receive help like social-emotional support. The programming emphasis will be given to developing relationship skills, responsible decision-making and self-awareness, according to the release.

The city is expected to spend $8 million on its expanded initiatives.

Lehman works with Cuban schools

Lehman College has a new “academic alliance” with two Cuban universities that will make classes accessible to both countries.

Beginning next spring, four classes will be offered giving students an opportunity to study in Cuba during spring break.

Mount students volunteer 1,300 hours

October at the College of Mount Saint Vincent included a strong commitment to community service. In total, 740 students donated their time at 78 events, equaling more than 1,300 hours of service.

Some of the organizations receiving assistance from The Mount included POTS Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.

Additionally, they took part in cleanup efforts at Pelham Bay Park, visited veterans at the James Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center and with domestic violence survivors at Susan’s Place, a shelter for homeless women.

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