It’s hard to believe we are almost finished with the most unusual and challenging school year that we have all ever experienced. Thank you to all of our parents and students who have been, and continue to be so flexible as we’ve navigated through it together.
As we begin to consider not only the conclusion of this school year, but the beginning of next year, plans will begin to be put into place in the upcoming weeks and months. One important task that will be undertaken is the creation of class lists. With this in mind, I thought I would share this process with you to answer questions that you might have.
Though creating class lists might seem like a fairly simple process, there is actually a lot of work and consideration that goes into this important step in our planning. It’s not necessarily easy to capture in a blog post, but here goes.
To start the process, teachers reflect on several factors about their current students, including friendships, each individual student’s learning style/needs, current levels of achievement and engagement and social/emotional needs of each student. They then work with their grade level colleagues, (who have done the same reflection) to begin to create class lists that will work for whatever teacher might receive them in the upcoming year. Together, this grade level team considers these factors, along with other very important ones such as friends, social dynamics, providing separation for those who don’t always work well together and many more.
In this particular year, as with many things we are faced with one additional challenge to navigate. Because we have had many students learning online for periods of time since March 2020, we will be working with our online teachers to re-integrate these students into our learning community for the Fall of 2021!
One of the most important considerations, and one that I can assure you our teachers account for, is student friendships. Please know that teachers do work diligently to ensure that each child has at least one friend (and often more) within their class. While this can sometimes be a bit more challenging than it may first appear, our staff know how important having a friend in their class is to our kids learning and development.
With all of these things in mind, teachers create a first draft of class lists for the upcoming year to be reviewed by administration. After looking at these lists, administration adds any new students joining our community to each class list and seeks feedback once again from teachers. At this stage, with the initial draft of the lists almost completed, once the staffing placements for the upcoming year have been finalized, the receiving teachers examine the lists to provide any final feedback to their colleagues who created the lists and to administration.
In order to try to ensure that we get things right for all students, this process can take several weeks to complete and can go through several drafts. To further complicate things, sometimes things change along the way. For example, students leaving or joining our community in July and August require staff to further adjust class lists.
Should you have any questions about your child’s placement for the upcoming school year, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school’s administration.
We look forward to seeing all of our kids’ faces back in our school very soon.
Mr. S. Patras
Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School