Class sizes at traditional Sonoma County high schools push past the statewide norm but continuation high schools boast below-average class sizes, recently released figures from the 2011-12 school year show.
Sonoma Valley and Petaluma High schools both reported an average class size of 26.6 students, the best for traditional high schools in the county. The state average is 23.6, according to the statistics published on the Ed-Data website.
Sonoma Valley High had the lowest pupil-to-teacher ratio of any traditional high school in the area, at 20 kids per teacher. The state average is 22.7.
But the four continuation high schools in the Petaluma Joint Unified School District had much lower class sizes, ranging from 11.1 students at Valley Oaks High to 21 at Carpe Diem High.
Check out more area schools here or do your own comparisons on the Ed-Data website:School Class Size Comparisons, 2011-12 School Enrollment Average Class Size Pupils per Teacher Number of Teachers
Carpe Diem High*23 21.0 11.5 4 Casa Grande High 1746 27.4 22.5 86 Healdsburg High 704 28.3 23.9 34 Petaluma High 1317 26.6 21.6 68 Rancho Cotate High 1409 28.4 24.4 68 San Antonio High* 100 13.2 10.4 11 Sonoma Mountain High* 20 n/a 10.0 4 Sonoma Valley High
1336 26.6 20.0 71 Valley Oaks High*
12.2 9 Statewide Average n/a 23.6 22.7 n/a * continuation high school
The statistics are published by the the Ed-Data website, a partnership between the California Department of Education (CDE), EdSource, and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team to provide data about K-12 education.
There's a longstanding debate surrounding the importance of class size. A report issued two years ago by the Brookings Institute indicated significant class size reduction—along the lines of seven to 10 students—had the biggest impact on student achievement, but this was much more pronounced in younger students than at the high school level.
Do you think average class sizes at Sonoma County high schools are too high? How does this impact students' learning? Tell us in the comment section below.