One question that comes to the office is how we determine which class students will be in. The first thing parents need to know is that this is a carefully considered process. There are a number of factors that go into this decision including the number of students in each grade, trying to get a balance of gender and abilities, and maintaining some social supports for each student. Overall, the most important consideration is what is in the best academic interest of all of our students.
The reality for many of our students is they will be in a split-grade classroom at some point during their academic careers, often more than once. Considering the diverse needs and abilities of students, no class is a “straight” grade. Our teachers will use a variety of strategies to best meet the individual needs of their students, which would include flexible groupings within and beyond their regular classrooms. Being in a lower split does not mean that students are lower in their ability, the same way a higher-grade split is not comprised of the highest achieving students.
Finally, students cannot be grouped based on where their friends are or whether they will have their favourite teacher who they have always wanted. We do pay attention to social supports, but working in the same classroom with your best friend(s) is not always the best thing from an academic point of view. While each teacher has their own strengths that may be somewhat different from their colleagues, all have incredible talents to share in a challenging, rewarding, learning environment. I would welcome the opportunity to have my child educated in any one of their classrooms.
As administrators, we value the professional decisions that our staff has made to create class configurations. We know that they worked hard to make the best possible learning environment for their students.
We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.
Hillary Ibbott Neiszner and Linnea Wiszniak