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Combination Classes at CC

 You may be wondering what these "combo classes" are that we have on campus (as we have in prior years). We'll give you some insights in this short article.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to create combination (“combo”) classes in order to accommodate as many of our resident students as possible without having to overload them to another school since we are constrained by class limits of 24 in grades K-3 and 32 in grades 4-5.
 
Creating and sustaining combos: 

 

  • When creating classes across the school, we work to balance combos as closely as possible and to identify students who would be successful in such a class. We then select teachers who have experience with differentiating curriculum and working with students of varying levels.
  • Other teachers at the grade levels provide support in a variety of ways, depending upon the class configuration. These can include taking some of the combo students for a specific area of study or taking them along on a field trip.
  • Students still spend time with grade-alike peers at recess and lunch, and in the case of 4th and 5th graders, at PE. They also have the same access to Starting Arts, library, computers, and field trips that straight grade classes have.

 

Research shows that:

 

  • There is no difference in academic achievement between children in combination classes as opposed to straight grade classes.
  • Students take greater responsibility for their own learning and provide more support to their peers.
  • Students have the opportunity to develop friendships across grade levels (which is more reflective of real life).
  • Children are carefully selected for combination classes with special attention given to their social-emotional maturity as well as their academic achievement.
  • Combination classes are common across the country and even the world.

 

Suggestions for parents:

 

  • Get to know the teacher and give the class a chance before you express concern.
  • Remember that children often behave and perform differently at school than they do at home.
  • Attend Back-to-School Night, and ask questions about assignments and expectations for your child. Reinforce class expectations at home.
  • Volunteer in your child’s class.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher about any concerns you have and ways you can help your child at home.
If you still have questions after implementing all of the above, feel free to contact an administrator for more info. 

 

 

Anita Lee, Principal
anita.lee@sesd.org