Ashland middle and high school students will have fewer classes to choose from and more students in each class in the fall.

Ashland middle and high school students will have fewer classes to choose from and more students in each class in the fall.

It is a reality administrators and school board members had to take on Wednesday during the third of four scheduled Ashland School District budget committee meetings.

AMS Principal Steve Retzlaff and outgoing AHS Assistant Principal Ken Kigel presented the schools' respective enrollment and class structure proposals, both of which included curriculum reductions and across-the-board increases in class size.

The average class size at AHS for the 2008-09 school year is about 24 students. That number will be closer to 28 in 2009-10, Kigel said, stressing the difficulty of allocating students to a smaller number of classes without crowding them.

"We are losing about 47 classes. In that seven-period structure, that's about seven each period that we're losing," he said.

In addition to class reductions, AHS is eliminating its dance and junior varsity tennis programs, as well as part of junior varsity soccer.

Retzlaff said class sizes at the middle school would also increase in 2009-10. The average sixth-grade class will have 27 students, while combined grade seven and eight classes could have as many as 33 students.

In addition to the increase, Spanish language classes will be cut out of the core curriculum. Instead they will be offered as an elective, similar to band and orchestra. The difference is that any student who would want to take Spanish as well as playing an instrument, might have to do the latter on his or her own time.

All of the projections are tentative as of now. The budget committee will continue its discussion June 3 at the AHS district office.

— Ashland Daily Tidings