Thinking about next year ….

In last week’s e-Notice (4/9/12) I mentioned class placement for next year.  I will continue to do so over the next few weeks, but wanted to provide a more detailed explanation as well.

From the e-Notice … “Also at this time of the school year, the staff begins the complicated process of developing class assignments for next year. Winthrop will continue to “roll up” the current class configuration from grade level to grade level, and I’m excited that we’ll again have three Kindergarten classes next year. The placement process has many layers as all educators in the school work hard to ensure that each student is in a position to succeed academically and socially. You will not be notified until August as to who your child’s home room teacher will be. At that time, alterations will not be made. If you have a specific concern regarding the placement of your child next year, please contact me as soon as possible. Specific teacher requests will not be honored as it is impossible to provide a fair and consistent process when teacher requests are allowed.”

Historically, student placement is one of the most difficult job functions of both teachers and administrators, as we are sticklers for perfection and want what is best for all our students.  Most of us are also parents ourselves, and know this is a difficult process at home as well.  As this is my first year at Winthrop, I want to assure you our focus will be in creating good instructional groupings of students, taking into consideration academic proficiencies, social/emotional needs, friendships, and keeping in mind students who did not work well together this school year.  Additional factors include keeping a balanced gender split, as well as dividing students from “sending” classrooms evenly throughout the next grade level.  An overall goal of elementary schools is for students to have a broad range of experiences, and to adapt to a variety of personalities and learning styles, while becoming more comfortable in what works for him or herself.  Please also remember what was best for an older child may not be the same for a younger child.  Every student is unique!

Winthrop teachers have been asked to direct any particular parent requests for placement to me, and I ask that if you have concerns or information specific to your child’s placement you contact me as soon as possible.  One of the most difficult issues to navigate are parent requests that come after the placement process has begun.  A change to one student in one classroom has a domino effect on every other student and classroom at that grade level!