Class and Grade Assignments

Your child's classroom assignment will be available the Monday before school starts. In the spring of each year, grade level classroom teachers discuss each child to make placement recommendations for the following year. Teachers examine the academic, social and emotional needs of each child prior to making their recommendations.

Several factors are taken into consideration for class placement including the following:

  • Gender: Is there a balance of boys and girls in each class?

  • Ethnicity: Does each class reflect the diversity of all the children in that grade?

  • Learning Needs: Does each class reflect the range of learners, from independent to needing special support? Does each class reflect the range of academic abilities?

  • Individual Relationships: Does each child have a friend? Are there possibilities for new friendships? Will the social dynamics of the class work to foster a positive learning environment? Twins will be separated – please email to learn more about Sandpiper’s policy of doing so.

  • Classroom Environment: Is there a good match between the child’s learning style and the classroom environment?

  • Parent Participation: Does each class have parents who are interested in and able to help with in-class activities?

Questions and Answers Regarding Student Classroom Placement

Each spring, plans for the next school year begin to take shape. Classroom assignments for students are one of the important decisions a teacher and principal make. Information from a number of people is used to make the most effective placement. Teachers who know individual students provide much of the information. Parents have insights about learning styles, personality traits, and out-of-school friendships which educators are sometimes unaware of. The purpose of this guide is to clarify the placement process at Sandpiper School.

1. What are the goals of student placement?

It is our goal to have all students in instructional settings that will allow them to learn as much as possible in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Classrooms are heterogeneous in their makeup. This means each class has a wide variety of talents, abilities, and interests. A well-balanced classroom is in everyone’s best interest. It is also our intent to match teacher strengths to student needs and talents.

2. Who is responsible for placing students in classrooms?

The teachers place groups of students together to form well-balanced classes. The principal is designated by the Board of Education to make the final decision on student placement. The principal is the one who is able to gather information from all available sources in order to make appropriate decisions for all students in the school. At Sandpiper School, student placement is done with the assistance of the staff.

3. May parents help the principal make the appropriate assignment?

Yes, by completing a Teaching Style Input Form Form. Forms returned by May 10th will be used in the placement process. Forms returned after that date may not be included in the placement process. Information provided by parents will be treated as confidential.

4. What criteria is used for placement?

There are many variables which affect the assignment process. Some of these variables include: input from staff and parents, performance on assessment measures, a child’s work habits, study skills, daily level of performance and peer relationships, gender, and teaching style.

5. May parents choose their child’s teacher?

No, this is not a good idea for several reasons. First, the teacher has no control over the ultimate placement decision. The current teacher is able to give input and make recommendations regarding placement. Secondly, the request puts the teacher in an awkward professional position. Teachers know one another as friends and professionals, but they do not have the opportunity to watch each other teach. Therefore, they are not in good position to know who would be best for a particular student.

6. When are classroom assignment made?

Class lists are developed during the month of May. In August, the principal weighs students’ movement both into and out of the school. Balance is maintained between classrooms and the number of students in each class. Classroom assignments will be sent to parents the weekend before school starts.

7. What if I think my child should be placed in a different grade? State of California Education Code guides the placement of students in age based grades. Retention or Acceleration are very rarely an appropriate consideration for students. When families or teachers think retention or acceleration should be considered, an SST meeting will be held. The team will make a recommendation and the principal will make the final determination based on academic and social emotional data. Retention is not an appropriate option for students with learning disabilities or students who are learing English.

Placement Concerns

Many hours have been spent forming well-balanced classes to create the best academic environment for all students. However, if you have a concern you would like to express regarding your child’s placement, please contact the principal.

No room changes will be considered or discussed until after the 10th day of school.