Planning for the next school year is well underway! We will be discussing organizational structures, special education delivery models, teaching assignments and timetabling in the coming weeks.
One of the most important tasks, usually beginning in late May, is the placement of students into new classes for September. Homeroom teachers, in consultation with receiving teachers, appropriate support staff and school administration, devote much discussion time to the generation of classes that strive to best meet the needs of all of our students.
Class placement is a complex process that takes many hours of thought and discussion. Decisions are made following careful consideration of a number of criteria: balance of student abilities, interests and talents, gender balance, class size (consistent with Board and Ministry guidelines), learning style, learning partners and social factors. Friendship issues can play a role in the comfort level of some students; at particular developmental stages, some friends learn best in separate classes.
Kindergarten families, please note that the Full Day Kindergarten program is a two year continuum. Although we try to keep students in the same class with the same teacher for both years, this is not always possible. We need to ensure a balance of JK/SK students and genders in classrooms.
The Ministry of Education has mandated a hard cap of 20 students in each primary (Gr.1-3) classes. Since this is a hard cap with little flexibility to increase the limit above 20, it is highly likely that there will be combined classes throughout Kindergarten to Grade 8. In September when the Ministry audits class sizes, there will be a need to closely monitor enrollment. For this reason we may need to reorganize in September given that we have students moving in and out of our community in the summer. Due to the possibility of ongoing adjustments, we will not be sharing class placement information with families until the first week of September; prior to school opening.
Often parents have new and/or important information to share about their child which lends assistance to class placement decisions. Recent medical diagnoses, significant negative peer relationships that exist outside the school’s awareness or significant individual/family issues that may impact learning, are all items of information which are appreciated prior to the placement process.
WRITTEN PARENT INPUT that is received in the office, prior to May 15th, 2015, will be considered (and shared) during placement meetings. We will not be accepting parent requests for specific classroom teachers or specific requests for straight grades. Input after May 15th, 2015 may not be considered due to the complexity of this placement task.
Please be advised that while such input is valued, it cannot drive class placement decisions since school-wide limitations and a variety of other factors will, at times, take precedence. Final decisions regarding student placements remain the responsibility of the school administrators and school staff. Thank you for partnering with us in this very important task. As always, we encourage you to continue to talk with your child and his/her classroom teacher about academic, social and learning skill progress.
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Mr. Erdmann & Ms. Wand