Class Placements in September / Parent Input about Learning Needs
In September, it takes some students several days to settle in to new environments with new classmates. Commonly, it is a couple of weeks before students become more comfortable. The beginning of the school year can be emotionally difficult for students due to the change in schedule, sleep patterns, etc. and disappointments can be magnified. With our support and yours, most students adapt to their new class quickly. During this time, please reflect on, rather than react to, your child’s placement. It is extremely important to remain supportive and trust your children to be able to adjust to new learning situations and to make new friends – these are normal life challenges. If you feel we have made some sort of an error, please let us know.
We have found in the past that with your support, children are able to adapt to and benefit from a variety of experiences and that as parents, we tend to underestimate their ability to do so. Your help with this process is crucial. Please help your child by encouraging them and normalizing change, making new friends and meeting new challenges. As well, work to develop a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. Our goals are the same as yours – we are striving for your child and all children to be successful.
Parents are reminded that the final decision and authority for pupil placement remains with the School Administrators, as per the School Act.
How We Organize Classes In The Spring
Organizing students into classes for the following year is one of the more complex things that we do at Campus View. We go to great efforts to ensure that children are placed in optimal educational settings; teams of teachers as well as our Learning Assistance staff work to create what we feel is the best placement for each and every child. The factors we must consider are numerous – there can be many reasons to place a child in a given class and sometimes reasons not to. Both combined and single grade classes will be developed for next year at various grade levels. As well, there is often teacher movement from grade to grade, and to and from the school. Our aim is to build diverse and successful groups of learners who will function and learn well together. To do this, we use a wide range of criteria for grouping students, including:
- Physical and emotional maturity
- Academic needs and progress
- Class size
- Special needs class composition
- Special factors or extenuating circumstances
- Grade level balance in combined classes
- Each child’s need for attention in social, emotional and behavioral areas
- Effort, achievement, independence and leadership
- Logistical requirements concerning the child’s access to the support of an education assistant whose service is provided in more than one classroom
- Cultural diversity
- Groupings appropriate for the best learning environment for all
- Social needs / friendships
Additionally, we must make placements within the constraints of staffing allocations and contractual guidelines. In the end, each classroom will have its own character, offering different benefits to each child. We ask that you trust the team of educators working with your child to make the best placement for next year. We know it can make a difference when students have a familiar face in their class. We also know that sometimes, friends do not make the best classmates and that at times, friends should not be in the same class as they can disrupt one another’s learning. When we do place students for social reasons, we primarily consider students your child will succeed with in class, not necessarily friends; the two groups may be completely different. Finally, making new connections, meeting new challenges, and dealing with change are all important life skills. We will be asking students about friends prior to class building.
In the past, we have had a large number of parent requests for class placement that made class building very challenging. Many of the requests were regarding friends and sometimes were at odds with what staff saw as a ‘best placement’ or the requests of the friends. Please consider the following information:
Most times, it should not be necessary to make a special request. Your child’s previous teacher and our extended team know your child well, and will have good ideas about who they learn well with. On occasion, there can be special circumstances such as special needs or past history that we may not be aware of or that you feel we may need to be reminded of. Please give writing a letter serious consideration based on the above information.
If you feel you need to write a letter in the spring, please focus on the kind of learning environment you believe your child learns best; please remember, you cannot request or exclude certain teachers – this will not be considered. Letters that focus on learning are welcome and can at times be very helpful. It is also important to note that requests may or may not be met, depending on the input of staff and administration. Multiple requests from parents (eg. for friends, avoiding combine classes or teachers) cannot be met. As well, requests for ‘non-split classes’ or upper or lower parts of splits cannot be accommodated. This is not a perfect process but we work very hard at it and look at many factors many times between now and September to do the best we can for all children.
Parents who feel that they have educational information that would help the decision-making process should convey that information in writing to the Principal as soon as possible and deliver it to our office. To ensure your requests are received, letters must be presented in hard copy addressed to the Principal (not via email) . Information will be used as one of the factors staff will consider when forming class lists. Please do not request a specific teacher in your letter.
* We respectfully ask that you do not directly talk to, or contact by phone or email, any teachers about your child’s class placement with teachers. Teachers are bound by their Professional Code of Ethics, and these conversations cannot occur without violating this code.
Students Leaving Campus View
It is very important that we know of any families who are considering or have made the decision not to return to Campus View in September. Spaces created by children who are not returning effect the way we group our students. Please notify the office if you are considering a different school in September. We still will not remove your child from our list until your arrangements are final, but will have a better idea of where we have flexibility in class organization for our community.
Thank-you for your help and supporting this process! We know how concerned each one of you is to ensure your child(ren) have a successful school year.
Doug Smith, Principal & Amy Polson, Vice-Principal