Student Placement Approach for Grades 3-6

Trust.  Trust is essential to our work.  It came to my attention Friday that a few parents received some inaccurate information about our upper grade (3-6) student homeroom placement procedures for next year, specifically with what we refer to as the “AAP homeroom”.  We are committed to addressing ongoing concerns with equity and opportunity for our students brought by both teachers and parents.  Here is how we will do that.  First, we differentiate to meet the needs of all students, regardless of classroom because every student has different strengths and areas of need.  Here are some essential points you need to be aware of that will guide our placement decisions moving forward in grades 3-6 to ensure equity and opportunity:

  • All AAP Level 4 students will be placed in the same classroom and only level 4 students are guaranteed this placement (FCPS expectation).
  • Non-level 4 students with a history of placement in the “AAP homeroom” may be placed in a different homeroom next year and placement of non-level 4 students will remain fluid from year to year.
  • FHES will support a parent’s decision to refer their child to the central screening committee for AAP services in 2nd grade and beyond.
  • All teachers, as best practice, will access and integrate AAP curriculum and resources as appropriate and grade levels plan closely together to plan and deliver rigorous core instruction to all students.
  • All classrooms will have academic and social peer groups, including above grade level academic peer groups (supported by research) – we are working diligently to ensure that no student will be isolated academically or socially.
  • We flexibly group across the grade for accelerated math based on a variety of data, including the Beginning of the Year assessment, meaning homeroom placement has no correlation to math placement.
  • We will maintain the rigor and pacing in our “AAP homeroom” and students placed into this room will be done intentionally.
  • Class size will not be overly inflated in the “AAP homeroom” as a result of parents and teachers advocating for placement of non-level 4 students (FCPS has class size regulations) – the increased number of students being recommended for the “AAP homeroom” is requiring us to think deeply about how we meet the needs of students across the grade.
  • We strive to create a strong sense of community at FHES and value decisions that help nurture that as well as positive mindsets for our students, and with a more fluid model we help eliminate an increasing concern heard from some students of “smart class, dumb class”.
  • The majority of our instruction in all classrooms, K-6, will continue to occur in small group based on need and levels (workshop model).

Thank you for reading.  Again, our goal is to ensure equity and opportunity for all students and meet their needs regardless of placement.