In May, teachers will have release time to meet to determine class lists for the 15-16 school year, as they have in the past at Dr. Hamilton School. Many factors go into preparing class lists. It is a complex process and we are again seeking parental understanding and support of this process.
It is our strong belief that the learning atmosphere in the classroom must be the first consideration in the formation of class groupings. Classes are organized to maximize learning and teaching opportunities for students and for teachers. Teachers listen and talk to their students; have discussions with parents throughout the year and then using their professional judgement, make the best possible placement decision for each child.
Staff teams strive to create classes that are diverse in character and balanced in all respects. The following are all considered when determining class lists:
- A balance of student academic needs/strengths and social functioning
- Our knowledge of social interactions and dynamics between individual students and groups of students
- A match with class configuration and staffing, including the allotment from the school division
- Placement of students new to Dr. Hamilton School
- Male/female ratio
Parents can assist the class formation process by:
- Helping their children to understand the importance of class formation
- Supporting placements that have been made
Given appropriate support at home and school, it has been our experience that the vast majority of placements are successful. Where a placement is proving to be difficult, we ask that parents and students give it the time for friendships to develop and comfort level to increase. If you feel you would like to make a request for placement for the school team to consider, based on educational rationale, please contact Mrs. Ziprick prior to May 15, 2015. A deadline date is important to adhere to as once the teachers have had the conversations and have grouped studetns together, it's very difficult to make changes. Each child in a class fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. It is at this time we have to trust the teachers' professional judgement as they have the "big picture" perspective.
Student placement information is provided June 30 in the child's report card.
This information has been posted on our website, shared through E-memo, as well as the May newsletter.