Students in Patricia Jacobsen’s Algebra II Honors class fill every seat in the room, even the massage chair in the back. (Photo by Cissy Shi)

Student-teacher ratio swells as even more join Algebra II Honors class


This is what the Sacramento Country Day website advertises as the ratio of students to teachers in each class, on average.

But the Algebra II Honors class is nowhere close.

That class’s ratio is 21:1.

At the beginning of the school year, the class had 18 students.

Although 18 students is twice the advertised ratio, there were several reasons why the class wasn’t split up into two smaller sections.

Contractually, for a teacher to be considered full-time, they have to teach five classes.

Math teacher Patricia Jacobsen was given the Algebra II Honors class and four other courses before the school year began

If Jacobsen had been given the addititional Algebra II Honors class, she wouldn’t have had a free period.

However, that option was not chosen.

Another reason for the lack of a split was that there weren’t any other teachers who could teach Algebra II Honors.

Last year, Jacobsen taught two sections of Algebra II Honors because her Geometry Honors class was given to chemistry teacher Alan Beamer.

However, since Beamer is no longer at SCDS, Jacobsen had to take back the Geometry Honors class and get rid of one of the Al- gebra II Honors classes.

With 21 students, the Algebra II Honors class is the largest Jacobsen has ever taught. She said challenges include the high noise level and the distractions caused by teaching 21 eighth, ninth, and tenth graders in one classroom.

Sophomore Julia Owaidat agrees.

“Since it is a small classroom, it doesn’t really matter if people are talking normally or are whispering because we can hear every- thing they are saying anyway,” Owaidat said.

Some students said they aren’t doing as well because of the class size.

“The hardest part of the class is that (Jacobsen) isn’t really able to have a one-on-one relationship with a student because of the amount of younger students,” sophomore Jag Lally said.

In the middle of the school year, Jacobsen attempted to split the large class into two sections. The plan was to teach one section during the elective period.

But this was unsuccessful, as only a few students could take the class then, Jacobsen said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email