About Class Placements
The start of the school year is full of excitement and anxiety. Everyone is wondering how the year will go, whether or not they’ll get the teacher they wanted or have their best friend in their class. New routines and changes can be more stressful for some than for others until they become accustomed to it. Please rest assured that the staff at Cameron Elementary work very hard at building workable classrooms to meet everyone’s needs.
Class placement is an art and a craft that takes an exceedingly long time. We are challenged to find the best possible balance between many inter-connected priorities and characteristics. Here is how we do the process at Cameron Elementary School.
In late May, early June the enrolling teacher (often with assistance from the Resource teacher) fills out a student placement card for each child. On the card will be important information about what type of classroom and support would best benefit the child. We also list needs, friends, kids to separate and kids that work well together. They will have several different variables listed.
To give us more information we provide parents the option of filling in a placement request form that will give us more details about their child. What we do not ask for from parents is letters detailing the specific teacher request or no combined classes, etc…. Please keep in mind that on occasion, we get a request from one parent to pair their child with a specific friend; while, at the same time we get a request from the other parent of the other child to separate their child from the other. Obviously, in situations like these we will not be able to make everyone happy.
Early in June we gather all staff together and we work collaboratively on a first draft of class placements for the following year. We usually have our second draft completed before the end of June.
During the registration period in the week before school begins, we often begin making more adjustments as we learn about new students arriving and some existing students who have moved away. During the first week back, all staff come together to review our placements again and more adjustments are made as we learn more about new students who have arrived. Teachers that had your child in the previous year review your child’s placement in consultation with the resource staff. We then review ESL, learning assistance, Ministry designations, leadership capabilities, friends, gender and parent information once more for each class. We then wait for approval from the Board Office before finalizing as sometimes they request that we re-organize classrooms to meet various legislative and/or contract-related requirements.
As you can see, this process takes many hours of consultation over several weeks and each child is tied closely to every other child. We don’t have the luxury of only looking at one child; we need to look at all the students when placing them.
Once we finalize student placements, changes are no longer possible without impacting several other students. For this reason, we respectfully ask that parents work with their child(ren) and your assigned teacher in a positive and proactive manner to build a fulfilling and rewarding year. This is an opportunity for all students to experience new opportunities, meet new challenges and make new friends. Learning to adapt to new situations is a life skill that can serve students well for years to come.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation!