Alta Vista Elementary School

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Class Placement

The process used to assign students is a comprehensive one. As a staff, we take the responsibility of class placement very seriously. Beginning in the spring, and continuing through the summer, many factors are considered in the process of placing every child. This includes adjustments necessary in the summer to incorporate new students.

Our class placement procedure is extremely child-centered and begins with extensive conversation about each individual child. Our goal is to create classes which address both the fit between the individual student and teacher AND to create a classroom environment which is conducive to learning for all students. We attempt to accomplish this by analyzing over a dozen characteristics which influence the classroom dynamic while continuously revisiting who the individual children are who comprise the class. Our teachers spend many hours and put much professional thought and effort into placing their present students into next year's classes.

We respect tremendously that you know your student in ways we could not possibly know them. We likewise ask that you trust that your child’s teacher also has knowledge about your child’s academic, social, emotional, and behavior needs that may vary significantly from what you see in the home setting. Requests for specific teachers are not appropriate and will not be considered when student placement is made.

  • AM/PM Preference: We do not accept requests for placement in AM or PM. Please do not schedule your children in alternative programs before we send out the notification letters in August, as we will not make changes based on enrollment in outside activities/programs.
  • When will I be notified of AM/PM class placement?
    Due to enrollment changes throughout the summer, we are unable to finalize our classes until the week before school starts. Parents will be notified sometime during the week prior to the start of the school year of their child’s AM/PM placement and Kinder Open House for children and parents.
  • Champions provides a quality on-site activity-based before/after school program, including half-day programs for kindergarten students. Many of our parents find this to be the ideal option for a working schedule. Both Champions and Holy Cross will accommodate students for either AM/PM placement

*Also see our page "Registration" for more information on Kindergarten

Grades 1 through 5

The objective of the process is to produce the most “workable” heterogeneous combination of student groups. This important task contributes significantly to the creation of a positive class environment that enables students to reach their potential. It has been my experience that nearly all children are able to adjust rapidly to the different teachers they have over the years.This, too, is an important skill to learn--learning to get along with and work with a variety of people.

Combination Classrooms
In most cases, yearly changes in enrollment will produce the need for one or more combination class. Rest assured that the staff gives careful consideration to the students they feel would function well in a multi-age classroom. In combination classrooms, students are selected who are independent and confident workers, learn well in a cooperative environment, and have average to above average learning skills without behavior, social or academic concerns. It should be noted that elementary classroom teachers are certified to teach grades kindergarten through six. This range of ability was most notably applied during the early days of the one-room school. It should also be pointed out that regardless of grade level assignment, children in a given classroom perform at varying levels. In other words, the designation of “third grade” does not mean that all children in that classroom perform at the “third grade level” in all subjects. Therein lies the need to consider the individual differences among students. Stated another way, grade levels are not “pure” but are groups of students whose only common denominators may be chronological age and uninterrupted progression through the system.

**Please click the link in the side menu for a FAQ sheet on Combination Classes