A typical question often asked of me this time of year actually relates to planning for the next school year. Parents seek information about how class lists are developed for their child. Although informal planning begins sooner, the formal process of developing class lists begins right before school lets out. I choose to wait until then to help maintain a focus on what still needs to be accomplished during the current year. In April, parents will be given an opportunity to provide input into the process. A letter will be sent home for parents to share any information about their child that would help us in determining classroom placement. Once this information has been received, our school staff will work collaboratively with all of the data we have to develop class lists for next school year.
As a group we must consider many variables. They include, but are not limited to the following:
- Careful attention and consideration for the education needs and learning style of each child
- Developing an academically heterogeneous class
- Factors that relate to programs such as special education, speech, and other related services
- Parental input when necessary and practical
- Peer social factors imperative to facilitating a classroom climate conducive to learning
- Unique history with a specific teacher
- A subjective sense that the overall makeup of the class will be cohesive and form a productive community of learners.
Obviously, all of these factors are not considerations for every child and the weight of any one variable is specific for each student. Ultimately, as principal, I have the final responsibility to oversee the creation of class lists. Although we would like to honor specific requests for teachers, we feel that all of our teachers are qualified to give your child an excellent education. You can be assured that careful consideration will be given when planning for the educational experiences of each individual child in the context of a larger learning community – their classroom.
Emma-Leigh Larsen, Principal