, Derry, New Hampshire

October 31, 2013

School officials say fifth grade is doing well

Fifth grade adds a third class this year

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Although Grinnell Elementary only planned two fifth-grade classes this year, a third class is now helping the school handle some higher than expected numbers.

The new class is working well, School Board officials say.

The extra class was needed as Grinnell began the school year with about 29 students in each of its two fifth-grade classes.

A new teacher was hired to lead that new group.

“It’s going well,” superintendent Laura Nelson said. “It’s been a very smooth transition.”

Some children were moved from one of the original two classes, Nelson said.

“Students returned after Columbus Day to the added new class,” she said.

Nelson said she was happy with the success at Grinnell and how supportive families are about the changes.

Nelson said new students are still being enrolled.

School Board Chairman Brenda Willis said it’s good for Grinnell not to have to deal with overcrowded classrooms and the change will benefit the students.

She said many parents have offered their thanks and support for making the change.

“They are happy for not having crowded classrooms and are grateful for us for seeing the need and fixing it,” she said.

Nelson also thanked Grinnell’s PTA for helping with the open house/dinner event.

“It’s been a good community building for the school,” she said. “It was an excellent parent/community opportunity for families to see each other and talk about the transition.”

Grinnell is considered a “focus” school under the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver and teachers implement more directed instruction with smaller groups of students.