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Placement Process

The goal of the placement process is to establish classrooms of well- formed educational, social groups; groups that are balanced by important criteria such as race, gender and educational needs. These groupings will also take into account the personal relations among the children as described to us by teachers and parents as well as any unusual circumstances that might affect student learning. Our goal is to provide the optimum learning environment for individual students and the class as a whole.

Placement Process for Grades 1-4

Step One
Parents will be asked to complete a two-part form:

  1. Providing student information that might be helpful in forming groups. This information could include, for example, details about friendship networks, peers or problems that the child may have in relation to other children and concerns about learning disabilities.
  2. Stating any extraordinary circumstances that would affect their children’s placement. Extraordinary circumstances would almost always be relatively obvious, e.g., a sibling in the grade ahead or a history of extreme conflicts with another child. We are looking for the truly extreme situations of which we would seldom expect more than one or two in any year. 

Graham and Parks Placement Process

Step Two
The teachers who have had the children in their classes will form the balanced groups. For example, the third grade teachers will form the fourth grade groupings. The special needs staff and the administrators will have input into these groupings as well. Relevant information about groupings, provided by the parents from the placement form, will be used at this time by the committee. Students deemed “extraordinary” cases (as seen by both parents and staff) are held out of the process at this stage.

Step Three
The classroom/teacher assignments for the groups will be chosen by lot. The lottery step will be conducted by the placement team, administration, and special needs staff. Students held out of step two as “extraordinary” cases will be placed in classes after this lottery. Parent placement forms will be reviewed again at this time.

Step Four
JK/K parents will be informed of their children's placement in late August. Grades 1 - 4 parents will be informed of their children’s placement before the end of the school year.

Step Five
Parents who are not satisfied with their child’s placement may request a grievance hearing. A grievance committee consisting of the Principal, Assistant Principal, Parent Liaison and one other person, staff or parent, will hear the grievance and make a decision. Parents write a letter, make the appointment, present their case and reasons for the grievance. The committee will listen and ask any necessary clarifying questions. This is not an open discussion meeting. The family will be notified within two days of the decision. If the placement process has been done carefully, there would be very few changes based on grievances. In addition, at this point it is very difficult to move a child without damaging the integrity of the groups that have been formed.

Additional Information

Transfer Policy
There are some cases where parents wish to have their child transferred out of a classroom after one year. Requests for transfer will be considered by a committee as in the grievance procedure listed in step five. It should be noted that transfers are very unusual at Graham and Parks. Our commitment to maintaining well formed groups makes it very difficult to accommodate transfer requests.

Parent Lobbying for Placement
We would ask that parents not lobby for a certain class placement for their children with the child’s current teacher. Doing so is very awkward for the teacher. The staff has worked diligently to create a process that considers all factors. Parents are encouraged to visit classrooms in order to become familiar with teachers. They should think about the best learning environment for their child or any special circumstances that would help inform our decision, and then trust our process. Thank you for your cooperation