We recently held a School Council workshop where parents
could learn about how schools created Classroom Models and about how students
were placed in classrooms for the following year. Here are some questions that arose…
will I know who my child’s teacher is? I heard some children got a call
or letter from their teacher and we did not. Is this a standard practice at
Palmerston across grades? Or does this vary based on grade or teacher
Here is a breakdown of how
we inform students about their teacher for the following year.
Students entering JK and
new-to-Palmerston Senior Kindergarten students: Parents will receive a letter
in May or June stating their child’s classroom number for the fall.
Students entering SK: The
following year’s classroom number will be included in the June Report Card.
Some parents have asked if it is
possible to find out the name of their child’s teacher in advance. Unfortunately, teachers can change over the
summer and we do not want to set students up for disappointment on the first
Students entering Grade 1: Parents
will receive either a letter or a phone call the week before school starts,
indicating who the teacher will be. On
the first day of school, Grade 1 teachers will be in the yard before school
with nametags. At the entry bell, Grade
1 teachers will take their individual classes directly to their classrooms.
Students entering Grades 2-6:
Students come to school on the first day and line up outside the school by
their 2016-2017 grades (we will have signs indicating where). At the entry bell, students and staff enter
the gym, introductions to the school, staff and the new school year are made,
and then students are introduced to their teacher in the gym.
child is very anxious about who the teacher will be. Can I find out beforehand who it is?
We treat each situation on
a case by case basis.
If a child has an
Individual Education Plan, has been involved with School Services in regards to
anxiety, or has had significant challenges over the previous year that have
been discussed with the teacher and administration, we will, as a team, meet
with parents to determine the best way to support. This may include letting the child know who
the teacher will be, developing a transition plan, helping the child develop
and use strategies for managing anxiety, or letting the child know who the
teacher will be.
Many students experience
some level of anxiety in regards to the beginning of school. In most situations, this can be an opportunity
for parents to teach their child skills and coping mechanisms for addressing
anxiety. If you have spoken with your
child and they still feel anxious, please contact us. We will be able to provide you with some
ideas and strategies.
child has some social anxiety. I heard another parent made a request for their
child to be with a friend. Will all
students receive the same consideration equitably?
Absolutely. Each and every student is reviewed at Placement
Meetings to ensure that they travel to the next grade with at least one
friend. Teachers spend many, many hours
with their students over the year and they are very aware of who is friends
with whom. They use this knowledge to
ensure that every student goes with a friend.
On another note, we have had
requests in the past for a student to be placed with a specific friend. While we
try to honour this request, we cannot guarantee it. This can be for a number of reasons (e.g.,
the class might not be balanced with an equal number of girls and boys;
therefore we need to move that specific
friend to a different class to ensure balance). That being said, we will do
everything to ensure that that child goes to a class with a friend.
Some students have been
disappointed that their best friend is not with them. This is an opportunity to remind your child
that they can always see that student at recess, at lunch, outside of school,
and during extracurricular clubs, activities and teams. It is also an opportunity to teach strategies
for making new friendships, and for strengthening existing ones.
We make every effort to ensure
that the student placement process is as transparent and as equitable as
possible. There may be discussions in
the playground or outside of the school that may contain inaccurate information. If you have questions, please contact the
school administration as soon as possible for clarification. If other parents have questions, please
encourage them to read this document on the website.
child is good friends with a particular child, but they distract each other in
class, what can be done?
Friends distracting each other is
a very universal classroom experience. Typically,
when the teacher intervenes, the misbehaviour will stop and the two students
will refocus. In these types of
situations, we will often place two students together in the knowledge that,
with teacher intervention (e.g., strategic seating, subtle reminders, parent
involvement), the two students will be able to focus.
We certainly appreciate that there
are rare times when, despite teacher intervention, the level of distraction is
so high that it is having a negative impact on children’s academic achievement
and the classroom environment. The current
teacher will be aware of the dynamic, and, if possible, the students will be
placed in separate classrooms for the following year. If this is not possible, we work closely with
the teacher, students and families so that the students are able to learn
strategies to focus appropriately in the classroom.
my child fall behind in a split grade because (s)he is struggling academically?
Any child, regardless of whether
they are in a combined or solid grade, will receive support if they are
struggling academically. This support
will vary depending on the degree to which the child is struggling (e.g.,
informal, in-class teacher intervention up to a half-day Special Education Home
School Program). If you have concerns,
or would like to learn more about how we support students academically at
Palmerston, please contact the school office.
my child learn what (s)he needs to learn when the teacher has to teach two
Some parents believe that the
teacher spends only a part of their time on one grade and the other part of
their time on the other grade. Many
parts of the curriculum, however, share the same concept or “Big Idea.” Please see the chart below for examples:
Identify, describe and create, through investigation,
growing patterns and shrinking patterns involving addition and subtraction,
with and without the use of calculators.
Extend repeating, growing and shrinking number patterns.
Count forward by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 25’s to 200,
using number lines and hundreds charts, starting from multiples of 1, 2, 5,
and 10 (count by 5’s from 15; count by 25’s from 125)
Count forward by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s to 1000
from various starting points, and by 25’s to 1000 starting from multiples of
25, using a variety of tools and strategies (skip count with and without the
aid of a calculator; skip count by 10’s using dimes)
Estimate / measure / record the distance around
objects, using non-standard units
measure / record the perimeter of 2D shapes using standard units
Describe the probability that an event will occur
through investigation with simple games and probability experiments and using
- Getting heads when tossing a coin
- Landing on red when spinning a spinner
Predict the frequency of an outcome in a simple
probability experiment or game then perform the experiment, and compare the
results with the predictions, using mathematical language
Establish a personal voice in their writing, with a
focus on using familiar words that convey their attitude or feeling towards
the subject or audience
Establish a personal voice in their writing, with a
focus on using concrete words and images that convey their attitude or feeling
towards the subject or audience
There are 4 Science strands and 2
Social Studies strands for each grade.
Some parents have asked if teachers are required to teach specific 12
strands to a combined class (as opposed to teachers who have to teach only 6
strands to a single grade class). In
split grades, the teacher is able to combine many Science and Social Studies strands.
and Characteristics of Living Things
Growth and Changes
in the Environment
Rocks and Minerals
Acting on Structures and Mechanisms
Regardless of the grade or topic,
students from Grades 1-6 focus on these essential skills: