We gather all the information we can get on children we are placing in our school. For first year students, most of that information comes from the parents. If the child attended JMS, we can also get some pertinent information there. For fourth year students, we generally have a great deal of information from their lower elementary experience.
The principles of placement are the same at both levels: The teachers gather as a team with all of the information they can get about the students and do the placement with these principles in mind:
- Balance the genders and ages in each class as well as possible;
- Try to split children who seem to have a negative or overly-dependent relationship;
- Try to put children together who would benefit from a closer relationship;
- Distribute special- and high-needs children as evenly as possible among the three classes.
We realize that parents may have a preference of which of the three teachers they want their child to have. If they have voiced a preference, and all other things are equal, we may just as easily honor that preference as not. However, the four principles come first, and so usually preference is not factored into placement. We truly hope that parents can understand, especially with this summary of our process, that to factor in preference would make this principle-based process impossible, resulting in classes that are out of balance, contain relationships that are detrimental to the children involved, and which contain an unwieldy presence of special and high needs children.
If, after our announcement of placement decisions for the coming year (typically made with the summer letter in August), we are informed of factors that pertain to the placement but which we were unaware of in the process of making the placement, we will reconsider the placement decision. For the reasons stated above, parent preference is not a factor we would base reconsideration on.
If the factor pertains to a genuine incompatibility of the child (a condition, or pronounced tendency in the child’s psychology or physical well-being) with the environment he/she has been placed in, we will reconsider the placement. We reserve the right to make the final decision as a teaching staff.