Class Size/Planning Time

Class Size

Class Size

No state or federal statute regulates appropriate or maximum class sizes. In Missouri, the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) sets guidelines for class size based on grade level. MSIP standards have both a minimum standard and a desirable standard. A district must at least meet the minimum standard to receive points towards MSIP accreditation. The MSIP class-size standards are as follows:

GRADES MIN. STANDARD DESIRABLE STANDARD
K-2 25 17
3-4 27 20
5-6 30 22
7-12 33 25

For full-time elementary art, music, physical education and computer teaching specialists, MSIP requires them to teach no more than 750 students per week. MSIP standards can be increased if the classroom has a full-time or half-time teaching assistant. Full-time assistants allow an additional 10 students per classroom while half-time assistants allow five additional students. Aides provided with Title I or special education funds cannot be used to increase class enrollment.

There are also some special rules for particular classes:

  • High school classes that combine beginning and advanced levels of the same subject are limited to 15 students.
  • High school classes that combine advanced levels of the same subject are limited to 20 students.
  • Performing arts classes may exceed the regular class size as long as adequate supervision and space are available.
  • High school physical education classes may enroll up to 45 students.

As with all MSIP requirements, the class-size guidelines are not as enforceable as a state or federal statute. A district must earn a certain number of points throughout the review process to earn accreditation. A district can decide to meet some MSIP standards while failing to meet others. A district must simply meet enough standards to earn accreditation. Therefore, a district could choose to disregard the class-size guidelines without serious repercussion.

Planning Time

No state or federal law requires school districts to provide teachers with a set amount of planning time during the school week. In Missouri, the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) sets guidelines for full-time classroom teachers, including kindergarten teachers, and calls for a minimum of 250 minutes of scheduled planning time each school week. The guidelines also suggest providing 50 minutes of planning time each day. Further, MSIP calculates planning time between the official start and end of the school day, and does not include travel time, lunch time or time outside of the official day. As with all MSIP requirements, the planning-time guidelines are not as enforceable as a state or federal statute. A district must earn a certain number of points through the MSIP review process to earn accreditation. A district can decide to meet some MSIP standards while failing to meet others. A district must simply meet enough standards to earn accreditation. Therefore, a district could choose to disregard the planning-time guidelines without serious repercussion.

Last updated by on June 6, 2018
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