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The Cape Elizabeth School Board recognizes that a relationship exists between class size and pupil achievement. This relationship varies across grade levels, among subjects, and by methods of instruction. Therefore, average class size in grades K-8 and student loads in grades 9-12 shall be determined by several different variables, including grade level, subject, particular needs of the student, learning objectives, instructional methods, input of staff, budgetary constraints, and available space.

Maintaining class size/student loads within the ranges below maintains educational quality and the School Department’s ability to attract and retain the best possible teachers for Cape Elizabeth’s young people. The Board seeks to balance this interest with the cost of the education of our students.

Keeping the above in mind, the following recommendations shall serve as the general guide for average class sizes K-12:

Higher class sizes may occur for large group instruction in grades 5-12 for special classes, including physical education and instrumental and/or choral music. Smaller class sizes may also occur for specialized courses such as where the elimination of such course might jeopardize student access to future courses or the program itself.

If a class/student load exceeds the recommended size, the Superintendent shall consult with the appropriate building administrator and review the situation before deciding whether to take such steps as hiring additional personnel or using other resources. If a high school or middle school class enrollment falls below 10, the Superintendent shall consult with the principal and decide whether to continue or eliminate the course. The Superintendent will inform the School Board of any decision in this area, and Board approval will be required to hire any additional teacher(s).

The ranges are general guidelines and shall not be considered as minimum or maximum limits. Additionally, the Board recognizes that student load, not class is another important consideration for teachers at the secondary level. Therefore, school administrators of these grade levels will seek to maintain average full-time teacher loads of between 75 and 90 students.


  • June 16, 1987


  • August 11, 1992
  • June 1998
  • May 11, 1999
  • May 13, 2003
  • September 12, 2005
  • May 13, 2008


  • September 10. 2013


  • December 8, 2015