CPS Classroom Size Grades JK-8: Contractual Limits & Target Capacity

In all of CPS’s junior kindergarten/kindergarten classrooms, the maximum number of students in a classroom is 20. This is based on a contractual limit through the teachers’ contracts.

After junior kindergarten and kindergarten, for grades 1-8, the contractual limit for classroom size through teachers’ contract is 25; the target maximum capacity for grades 1-8 classrooms is 22.

For CPS, the first-grade cohorts at many schools start out with more than a 22 per class average because the number of kindergarten students going into first grade sometimes exceeds the target capacity of 22 per class for the first grade. In these cases, additional students will not be assigned off the wait list. As the cohorts progress through higher grades, the classroom averages usually fall below 22, and then new students can be added.

There are cases when CPS will assign over the 22 class average when there are new-to-CPS students to be assigned in a given grade and all schools at that grade are over the 22 class average. In cases such as these, CPS would open the waitlist to make movement across the district in an effort to open up sufficient number of seats. In these cases, the class average may rise above 22 to 23 or 24 across the entire district in that grade where seats are needed.

Finally, on occasion, the district may exceed the 22 target in situations where a hardship appeal has been granted and SES remains in balance. Hardship assignments such as these that exceed the target maximum capacity of 22 in a classroom are rare, and these are only done when all aspects of Controlled Choice Policy can be followed.

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