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Lil Community: My Daughter's School Is Combining Grades

This post was submitted by jennibeans5 in The Mommy Club group.

My daughter's currently in a Catholic preschool.  We had planned to send her there for kindergarten in September, but now I just don't know.  They are in a very difficult financial situation and just told that teachers they will not be returning this fall.  The plan to keep the school open which is grades Pre-K to grade 8 and combine K through 2 and 3 through 5. They plan to do this with 1 teacher and an aide for K through 2. I'm very concerned that she (my daughter) will be left behind and not get the attention that she needs.  The principal is trying to assure parents that what they are trying to do is similar to the Montessori program.  (The) problem is Montessori teachers are specially trained and in our school they will be winging it. While I'd hate to see a school close, I feel like I should get out now and start fresh at a new school.  The problem is most public and private schools had their registration in February and March.  Am I crazy or does this plan for combining grades actually seem like it would be beneficial?

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Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
Absolutely, darling.
GregS GregS 7 years
I was in a combined 4-5 and I turned out OK. Right Betty? Don't forget that at one point in the not too distant past, this country had one room school houses that taught K-12. It all depends upon the teacher and their support network (that'd include the parents). Actually all education must include the parents every night.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I guess I'm a little late to comment, since you've already decided to look for a new school.... all I was going to add is: if you are worried about her not getting enough attention in school, just do more with her at home. There are tons of teacher workbooks that you could use with your kids.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Thanks all, I needed a few more opinions! I'm going to start looking into new schools this week. If the teachers were going to be trained to handle this it might be a good thing but I feel like it's going to be a big mess and the school will end up closing anyway.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I was in a couple schools that did this, and while it worked for me... I probably wouldn't do it with my kids. It was only good for me because I was bored with my own grade, and they were having us all do the same stuff - at the higher grade level. I loved it, but a lot of my peers REALLY struggled, and the teachers were really vague about a lot of things... I would personally probably find a different school, 3 grades seems ridiculous and way too chaotic and crowded. There is such a gap between those ages too. I dont agree with what the teachers are telling you either - its a totally different situation because there will probably be a LOT more students per teacher then a mont school. You cant just let teachers go and shove everyone in a big class and expect it to work flawlessly.
gigimama gigimama 7 years
My children attend a combined-grade K-8 charter school, and I love it. For example, this allows for a kindergartner who is reading at a first grade level to be put with academic peers regardless of what age he or she is. Age is not an indication of ability. I'm all for combined classrooms because there is more flexibility. If anything, your child will not be left behind but will benefit from being around the somewhat older children. She may enjoy the challenge. Older kids enjoy being "mentors" of sorts to the younger kids, who are anxious to do well. Plus, kids in combined classrooms often stay with the same classmates and teacher for several years, allowing for deeper relationships. It's cool. I'd be very upset if my kids' school decided to have single-grade classes.
AZarate AZarate 7 years
GET HER OUT NOW!! My niece is in a combined grade and it is horrible. She is learning 2nd grade work all over. The teacher claims she is giving her 3rd grade work but I remember these projects form last year. I have been trying to make them harder on our side but she finishes her homework so fast. We have decided to transfer her to a school where she will be challenged and in a class with only her grade.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
The plan to keep the school open which is grades Pre-K to grade 8 and combine K through 2 and 3 through 5 THREE grades in one classroom (k, 1, 2, and 3, 4, 5) sounds problematic to me.
B-mama-nyc B-mama-nyc 7 years
My apologies, I just went back and re-read... K-2 ;)
B-mama-nyc B-mama-nyc 7 years
Hey Jennibeans - I work in a K/1 classroom now and differentiating towards the different ages is difficult in itself so I can't imagine how much they would have to do to plan for a K-3 classroom. Have you spoken to the administration about the teachers plans to prepare for this new situation? How many students will be in the classroom? How many adults? There are numerous benefits to multi-grade classrooms, but you want to make sure that your daughters teachers are well prepared to be taking on such a task and that the appropriate supports will be provided. What about an educational enrichment program to supplement your daughters schooling?
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