Ask Joe: Can a school that's well under capacity still be considered overcrowded?

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From the Ask Joe file, we are following up on a question about overcrowding at a Reno elementary school.

Shannon Bray wrote in originally asking why a new portable classroom has been installed at Libby Booth Elementary School.

She says she questions whether the school really is overcrowded.

Here's what I found out:

The new portable was installed recently and It is expected to be put into use very soon. But there have been lingering questions about just how crowded Libby Booth really is.

Here are the numbers from the school district.

Keep in mind some students tend to come and go at this school. It tends to have a somewhat transient population.

The maximum capacity is 580 students. Right now the school district says there are 448 students and 20 teachers.

That's a ratio of 22 students to every teacher. That is not as crowded as other schools, some of which have as many as 25 students to every teacher.

Washoe County School District spokeswoman Victoria Campbell says the numbers don't tell the whole story at Libby Booth. Campbell says there are a number of special services provided at Booth, including interventionists, Special Education and English Language Learner instructors. Those are groups that require smaller classes, in some cases even one-on-one instruction.

The district says you have to consider all that when breaking down the class size numbers.

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