Bridger Placement Policy
A great deal of thought goes into placing children in classes each year. The process is also time consuming, as teachers focus on each child’s needs. Every effort is made to place each child in a learning environment where they will be the most successful. This learning environment incorporates several factors.
This policy goes to great lengths to inform parents of the placement procedures already in place at Bridger School and addresses parent’s questions regarding the procedures. The final page of the policy is a form that parents can use to provide information about their child’s placement if they so choose.
Questions and Answers Regarding Student Classroom Placement
How are children placed in classes?
1. Every April and May, teachers reflect about the students in their classes. They think about several qualities, such as academic skills, social skills, talents and special needs. They make notes about many things they have learned about their students during the year.
2. Teachers meet with the other teachers at their grade level and make out new tentative class lists. Teachers must make sure that each new class has:
4. In May, teachers at the next grade level can review placements to give any information they might have about placement.
5. The Administrator will review the tentative class lists and will meet with the teachers to give any other input about children.
Throughout this process, changes and adjustments are made. Each time a change is made, it can cause a chain reaction of other changes. Because of all of the factors mentioned above, the final decision on student assignments needs to rest with the school staff and Administrator.
My child is NEW to school. How does the school place a child when they don’t know him/her as well as the other students?
We will consider the balance of the boy/girl ratio and ethnic diversity. At registration, please inform the secretary of any special circumstances regarding your child.
Can I request a particular teacher for my child either in writing or through discussion with my child’s present teacher?
You may, if you give the specific reasons in writing by May 1. Please remember that sometimes teachers switch grade levels or move from the district. There are no guarantees that all requests can be honored. Teachers know their colleagues well and make sound professional judgments about trying to match teaching and learning styles between teachers and students. As stated earlier, parents may have reasons for their child to be in a particular class, but do not realize that the school district must look at multiple factors regarding classroom placement (see item Number 2 above).
Can I request my child’s placement with another child’s in the classroom? Or, can I request my child NOT be placed with another particular child?
We find that children placed with “best friends” usually will work and play exclusively with each other, and this does not promote the social interaction we try to foster. However, we also try to make sure every child has some “support” from other children in class placements. We also find, young children change “best” friendships often, as parents well know. If your child is having repeated difficulty with a student in his/her class, you will need to inform the teacher and Administrator so problem solving can take place. This is the aspect of the school experience where we all learn to function socially with all kinds of people. In the process we outlined above, we do try to separate the most non-constructive relationships, as best we can.
Do teachers request certain student placements into their classes?
No. Teachers are concerned about their class balance. Teachers want their colleagues to have successful years with their students and parents. Teachers are expected to be able to meet the needs of a variety of students and adapt to changes from year to year just as the students do.
We really like the teacher one of our children had. Now our other child will be entering that grade. Can we assume our second child will get that teacher?
Not necessarily. We do not keep those kinds of historical records at hand when placing children. It is usually coincidence if this happens. When a teacher changes grade levels, sometimes that teacher takes some or all of their students on to the next grade. This rarely happens. Just as we expect all of our children to adapt to changes from grade to grade, we expect all of our teachers and parents to adapt to changes from grade to grade as well. New relationships are constructive and help us grow. Children are all different and may respond better to different teachers.
When I get my child’s class assignment, can I request that it be changed?
You may talk to the Administrator about your concerns and be assured that those concerns will be shared with the teacher so your child’s anxieties will be addressed. Teachers are expected to have the skills to help children adjust. We rarely change an assignment, because it can cause a chain reaction within the class balance that would be unfair to many students within the group. While we feel we consider the individual child during the placement process, parents must realize that their child is part of a complex equation in school placements.
What if my child is having difficulty in his/her new placement after school has started? Can we request a change then?
We will do everything we can to problem solve in other ways first. Parents need to talk to the teacher and the Administrator immediately, so the child’s needs can be addressed. Teachers, just as parents, want their students to be happy and productive in school. Children can only do this if they feel comfortable and accepted. Tell us the problem, and we will try to work it out together.
We hope we have answered your questions and explained the process clearly. If you have any more questions or input, please feel free to contact the principal or your child’s teacher.