We have made some changes to our Kindergarten placement and staffing for Fall 2017 to not only align our staffing with our incoming Kindergarten student enrollment, but also to ensure our instruction reflects what is best for student learning and achievement.
Mrs. Hessbrook, Mrs. Meier, Mrs. Stephens, and Mrs. Whitford will all be teaching Kindergarten during the 2017-2018 school year. Mrs. Smith will be moving from teaching Kindergarten to Title I teacher role, supporting all South Elementary students and staff through early intervention instruction. Mrs. O’Brien will move from the Title I Teacher role to leading the Special Education and Early Literacy programs at South. Mrs. Bingham will be graduating with her second grade students and moving to North Elementary to provide Special Education instruction for Grades 3 and 4. We are grateful to have such a versatile and talented staff that willingly support our students in a variety of capacities.
While we will continue to welcome our Young 5 students, we will be sharing those students among our four Kindergarten classrooms. Best Practices in Instruction state that mixed ability classrooms result in better student growth, self-esteem and achievement. All students, especially younger students, grow and learn at their own unique rate. The diversity in placement of students in Kindergarten classrooms provides role models for younger or delayed learners while providing leadership and nurturing opportunities in older or faster maturing students.
Best Practices also strongly support students being exposed to age appropriate curriculum in order to close the gap between emergent learners and their peers. As such, all Kindergarten classrooms will be teaching the Kindergarten curriculum. Any child, with the support of the principal, teacher and parents, that demonstrates a need for two years of Kindergarten will continue to be offered that opportunity so that they can grow and learn at their own pace.