This is the time of year when schools look at placing their present students in classes for the upcoming school year. Schools have their own unique ways of placement. There are many traditions and rules that they follow that are unique to their own district, state or school. Most schools schedule planning meetings with the grade level teachers, special education staff and support staff to work on setting up classes. They try hard to balance classes by making sure that every class on a grade level has an equal amount of discipline issues, a fair distribution of students by ability, ethnicity, and socio-economic background, and a balance of special needs. They look at “time” factors such as which children (and which parents) take more of the teacher’s time when they consider placement. Many schools try and make sure that gifted students and higher level special education students have “buddies” in the same programs in their classrooms. Schools usually try and make sure that if students do not get along they are placed in different classrooms. They also take into consideration the parents requests for placing their child in a certain type of classroom environment (not placing a child with a teacher named by the parents). Other schools simply place students by parent request, or by administrative decision. Do you know what your school does, and why? Does your school send home a parent input sheet asking your prefence of educational environments and any other issues that might influence the placement of your child? As a parent, you should find out. One hint: every child that is pulled out of a school and taken to another school after placement is done has the tendency to make the “balanced classroom” effect less effective. Classes then have to be rearranged to balance class size over the summer…and without a team to do that, it becomes hit or miss at best. Be involved.
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