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Ask Joe: (Follow-up) Just how crowded is Libby Booth Elementary?

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

Shannon Bray wrote earlier this week asking why the school district installed a portable classroom at Libby Booth Elementary. Her question is, is it really needed? And is Libby Booth really considered to be overcrowded?

Here's what I found out:

That new portable classroom is not in use yet but I'm told it will be in a couple of weeks and it was really brought in to help out next year with overcrowding at Libby Booth. The cost for the portable classroom: $300,000.

There seems to be some question about just how crowded Libby Booth is.

The school district says the maximum capacity is 580 students but the current student count is about 440.

There are two different national websites, Publicschoolreview.com and Startclass.com, both of which list the student teacher ratio at Libby Booth at 15:1. There's even a link to the Startclass website on the school district site.

But the school district sent me a spreadsheet showing the ratio to be 21 students for every teacher. Keep in mind other schools in the district have a ratio as high as 25:1.

Riley Sutton with the school district says there are some extenuating circumstances at Booth. It is an older school that has smaller classrooms and the district says some classes have been forced to double up which is why they need the extra room.

I asked the school and the district what the exact student and teacher numbers are. School district spokeswoman Victoria Campbell said she would not be able to get those numbers until next week. She says the student count at Libby Booth can be fluid so it is difficult to get updated numbers.

So we will follow up then and hopefully some concrete numbers should help us get to the bottom of this.

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