The Alta Vista staff spends many hours and puts a great deal of professional thought and effort into placing their present students into next year’s classes. Teachers consider many factors as classroom groups are prepared, including the range of academic abilities, numbers of boys and girls, academic and social leadership skills, individual learning styles, behavior and special education needs, student personality and interaction, and class size. The objective of the process is to produce a balanced 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. The Alta Vista staff takes class placement of all children seriously and wants only the best for each child.
If you feel that there is specific information that neither current teacher nor myself are aware of, please send me an email ([email protected]) with details about your child’s strengths and challenges. Although I am not able to schedule individual parent meetings, this process provides the opportunity for you to share insight about your child with me. We cannot speculate at this time on staffing assignments as these may change over the summer due to a number of factors including enrollment and number of class sections needed at each grade level. Requests for specific teachers are not appropriate and will not be considered when student placement is made. 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 - how to get along with and work with a variety of people.
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.