The placement of students each year is a task that our staff takes very seriously. I’d like to share with you the process and criteria that we use at Carmel Creek when we are setting up classes for the new school year. It is a lengthy, complicated and thorough process, which we believe is essential to create well-balanced classes. Our process is supported by Board Policy 6152 and considers the following:
Teacher Knowledge of Students
After working together for a full school year (over 1,000 hours), teachers have in-depth knowledge of students’ learning styles, academic strengths and needs, personalities, friendships, and social interactions, including possible difficulties. All of this information is taken into consideration when making placements.
Fostering social emotional development and leadership is of great importance for our students. We know that students are often nervous about starting a new year in a new classroom, so we try our best to have at least one or two familiar faces in each child’s class. However, we also know that it may sometimes be a disadvantage to have too many friends or even “best” friends together for another year. It discourages making new friends and broadening a child’s social circle and skills.
It is important that each class at a grade level is similarly composed. We strive to balance boys, girls, academic abilities, health concerns, behavior issues, languages spoken, and students with special needs.
Combination classes are created to meet class size and staffing requirements. For example, when Kindergarten classes are full, we need to create another class. If we do not have enough students to fill the class, and we do not have enough first grade students to fill a class, the Kindergarten and first grader students may be grouped together in a K/1 combination class.
The information above about Balancing Classes does not hold true when we create a combination class. Combination classes are unique and we put the classes together very carefully. All students in a combination class meet or exceed grade level expectations in terms of academic success, social emotional skill development and behavior. This is true for both the students in the “upper” grade and in the “lower” grade in a combined class. Not every student fits this profile so we thoughtfully hand select each student to be in a combination class.
Because of the many variables that go into the careful consideration of the make-up of each class, there are no parent requests for a specific teacher and teachers will not guarantee a particular placement for a child. Your child’s best interest is always our primary concern. Class placements are a team effort and are not final until the first day of school.
Our District policy supports the efforts of our teachers and requires a two-week waiting period once school starts before any parent requests for class placement changes will be considered. These procedures have been carefully refined and implemented and they ensure that we create the most supportive and optimal learning environment for all of the students at Carmel Creek.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope this information is helpful.
John Galipault, Principal