HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Class size is reaching the crisis level in the Hempstead Union Free School District, where teachers said they have been packed like sardines with more than 50 students in a classroom.

And as CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively Monday, that is not the only problem.

It is crowded on the Hempstead Middle School ball fields, but inside, students said they can barely move. More than a dozen classrooms stuffed with a shocking 50 students, and some as many as 59.

“It is unheard of; it is unmanageable” said Elias Mestizo, president of the Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association.

Teachers said students are doubled up at desks in bulging classrooms, with more than double the typical Long Island or New York City class size.

“When you have a class over 40 — now you’re talking about 50; close to 60 — the most you could do is try to keep them safe,” Mestizo said, “although you’re teaching but instructionally, you know, it’s not academically sound. “

The situation not much better at Hempstead High School, where students said it is a situation of chaos in the guidance office. They said they are in courses they already passed, and many schedules are missing core classes.

“I’m missing classes; like, I don’t have an English class,” one girl said.

“I’m actually missing English 12 and Earth Science,” a boy said.

And Hempstead High School student Imelda Vasquez said she has no schedule at all.

“I don’t have any classes; nothing,” she said, adding that she comes to school and does “nothing.”

The school board said it is addressing the serious scheduling problem, which is caused by a last-minute influx of students. Enrollment is up by 1,000 in the last year, and since school started last week, 100 new students have been coming in per day, the board said.

The board has requested emergency state and federal aid for more space and resources.

Parents are furious.

“It’s incompetence,” said parent Velylia Clark. “You’re supposed to be working on this. You have all summer.”

Problems plaguing the district are nothing new. Only 5 percent of eighth graders are meeting state standard.

The president of the Teachers Association plans to tell the school board he warned them that class sizes would reach crisis levels — and the administration did nothing.

The New York State Department of Education said class size is a local matter. But if classroom occupancy exceeds 49 people, a second door is required.

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