Departments

Flaherty Elementary School includes students in grades K-5. 

Class Placement Procedure

During June, teams of teachers will meet and begin the careful process of creating next year’s classrooms. Putting together a classroom of children is really a complicated process. The basic principle behind placement is the concept of balance. We work to create classrooms that contain an interesting mixture of personality and learning styles. We certainly wouldn’t want to have all the active children in one room, while another room has only quiet, shy kids. A mixture of all personalities and learning levels creates the variety that makes classrooms exciting learning environments. We need a balanced number of girls and boys, to keep in mind quite a few other traits as well, and to equally distribute the academically talented students and those who work at a slower pace.

There are students who should not be together. This may be because they enjoy one another’s company so much they distract one another from the task of learning. I have known of cases where students are such close friends outside of school that teachers and family alike felt these students should develop more friendships and branch out a little bit by being in different classrooms. On the other hand, sometimes young personalities do not work together well, and it is just wiser to place these children in different rooms. Of course, we want each child to be in a class that contains some children he/she is friendly with. Teachers work very carefully at trying to make sure next year’s class will contain some of your child’s friends and playmates

Next, there are children who may need to be together. Two or three students may need to be placed together because they have similar goals on their IEPs and a Special Needs teacher could work with them together. As you can see there are so many factors to consider and so much to think about! How do we sort it all out?

The teachers of a particular grade level meet and begin to assign students. They carefully discuss each student and consider their personality and learning style. Teachers call upon their year of experience with the children in their class. As I sit on these placement teams, I am always impressed with how well teachers know their students. In order to construct well balanced classrooms, teachers consider each individual child and all the other children in the classroom. Class placement is a slow and careful process. This year, we are going to meet during Data Team meetings to help construct the classrooms. The reading and math specialists as well as the special education staff will have an opportunity to review the combinations of students and the construction of class lists.

This complicated process used to construct classes is one reason we cannot honor parent requests for particular teachers. Parents do not have access to all the information that goes into constructing a class list, the various learning styles and activity levels of an entire grade of students. Parents do have valid concerns and helpful information. If you have information or concerns, please contact us before May 24. 

Technology

Every student in Braintree has been given access to a Google account. In Flaherty grades 4 and 5, students use it independently; additionally, grade 3 uses it with teacher support throughout the year. The nice thing about Google accounts is that kids can access them from any computer anywhere, and teachers can collaborate with the students right in the documents. The 4th and 5th grade portfolio days will be all online this year.