The following Policy Guideline is designed to replace Informational Policy Memorandum (IPM) 53, issued March 3, 1993.
Section 5002(1)(b)(3) states that "For every such school, the commissioner shall set forth in regulation standards governing all of the following... the equipment available for instruction with the maximum enrollment that such equipment and physical plant will accommodate..."
Based upon the Department's work with the Proprietary School Advisory Council, listed below are the guidelines for setting quarters approval and capacities for all non-degree granting proprietary schools in New York State. In order to arrive at these guidelines, Bureau staff visited schools across the State to analyze room capacities.
Method 1 - Classroom Instruction Space
When a school director requests the Bureau to assign a student capacity for a classroom with tablet arm chairs, the following calculations would be used to establish the total number of students approved to be in the classroom for instruction. Method 1 would permit the school to use 90 percent of the total square footage of the classroom. Ten percent of the total square footage would be allocated to instructional equipment and passage ways for students and the teacher. After the clear square footage is factored out of the classroom space, the capacity would be arrived at by dividing the usable space by 14, the square footage needed for each pupil.
Method 2 - Classroom Instruction Space
This method is used when either of the following applies: (A) Classroom instruction takes place using desks or tables and chairs; or (B) Instruction takes place in such courses as business machines, keyboarding, computers, electric repair or small motors and appliances, electronic repairs,etc. Method 2 would permit the school to use 80 percent of the total square footage of the classroom. This method would dedicate 20 percent of the classroom space to instructional equipment and work space recognizing that teachers and students must move more frequently during the learning process and/or that tables and chairs take up more usable space than tablet arm chairs. After the clear square footage is factored from the classroom space, the capacity would be arrived at by dividing the usable space by seventeen (17), the square footage needed for each pupil. Seventeen square feet per work station is needed to ensure that space is adequate for the equipment and the study materials or manuals referred to by the student while using the equipment. Where no equipment is used in the classroom, the square footage for each pupil will range from fourteen (14) square feet to seventeen (17) square feet depending upon the size of the tables and chairs being used.
Method 3 - Non-Typical Classroom Instruction Space
Method 3 would permit the school to use 75 percent of the total square footage of a non-typical classroom for instruction (i.e., irregularly shaped, design or architectural barriers, etc.). This method recognizes sight and hearing limitations as well as access and egress considerations. After the clear square footage is factored out of the classroom space, the capacity would be arrived at by dividing the usable space by a range of fourteen (14) to twenty (20) square feet needed for each pupil. This range is flexible to accommodate the variation of equipment and type of instruction offered in the room.
Method 4 - Laboratory, Clinic and Technology Instruction Space
Method 4 is used to establish capacities in practical application areas such as vocational subjects, cosmetology, health, and medical and dental laboratory instruction. Method 4 would allow 75 percent of the total square footage to be used. This percentage is used for the lab and shop instructional areas since the equipment and movement in these areas occupies more usable space. After the clear square footage is established, the student capacity would be determined by dividing the space by a figure chosen from a range of thirty (30) to seventy (70) square feet per student depending on the type of instruction and equipment being used. The thirty (30) to seventy (70) square feet per pupil required under Method 4 is necessary because of frequent movement (teachers and students) and the inherent danger associated with such instructional equipment.
School owners and directors need to be cautioned that the Bureau will not establish capacities that would impede a student's education. Classroom design which impedes a student's vision of the front of the classroom or makes it difficult for the student to hear the teacher will have an impact on the student capacity. Therefore, room capacities have to be examined on a case-by-case basis.