CLASS ALLOCATION PROCEDURE
Our Lady of the Southern Cross College has a procedure in place for allocating students into classes each year. Classroom teachers and the leadership team work together to determine class placements based on the social, emotional and academic needs of students to ensure classes are balanced and will provide optimal learning and teaching for all.
The College Leadership Team establish class structures for the following year based upon anticipated enrolments, class lists are then formed from the full lists of students in each year level.
Factors staff take into consideration when allocating students to classes include the following:
- projected number of students in each year level and past trends
- gender ratio
- spread of students with respect to academic performance, social development and classroom behaviour
- the best educational needs of the student
- special circumstances such as twins or individual family members
- classroom observations
It is acknowledged by all, that friendships are important. However, to ensure balanced classes as outlined above, friendship groups are not a primary determining factor in class allocation.
What is the process for placing students into classes?
Based on the criteria listed above, the teaching staff and the College Leadership Team begin the process towards the end of Term 3. At this time, they observe current class situations and review with the future year in mind. Staff meet in Week 1 of Term 4 to establish class lists for the following school year. Teachers of the current year level meet with colleagues to create the class lists (i.e. Year 2 teachers decide Year 3 allocations etc.) for the following school year. Family history and connection to teachers through siblings is not a deciding factor for class allocation as teachers are allocated to class lists once they are formed not before.
Proposed class lists are submitted for consideration to other stakeholders within the College including the Student Services team. Throughout this consideration, present teachers are consulted and discussions are led by Assistant Principals of each sector about the combinations of students in classes.
Draft lists are finalised and submitted to the Principal and College Leadership Team for final approval.
Parents and carers may provide the College with specific information about their child’s learning or social needs that they believe the College may not be aware of. Such information would not include a request for a particular teacher. The information should be provided in writing by completing the Class Consideration Form to the Principal during the consultation phase in Week 2, Term 4.
This information will be referenced, along with other available information, during the class allocation process. Please see the below information.
- Parents are able to make a class allocation request based on educational needs
- Parents need to submit the Class Consideration Form outlining their reasons, by the set date.
- All written parent requests that arrive by the due date will be considered based on educational merits and in relation to the class structure process outlined above. Any late submissions will not be considered.
- The College cannot guarantee that parent requests will be met.
RELEASING CLASS LISTS TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Class allocations for the year ahead will be communicated to the students in advance of ‘Up Day’ every year. Class lists are final on publication to students and parents. ‘Up Day’ is the day where all students enrolled for the following year spend time in their future classes. This orientation and experience day is held in the final week of Term 4.
This practice means that:
- Students will experience a day in their future class, with future teacher/s;
- Students begin to build relationships with their teacher/s for the following year;
- Students will know which other students will be in their class; and
- Parents and carers will have time to talk positively to their children about the class experiences they may have the following year.
PARENT AND CARER COMMITMENT
Parents and carers commit to supporting the College's Class Allocation Procedure by:
- Supporting and accepting decisions made by the College; and
- Being positive with their child about the class allocation decision that has been made.
The College commits to supporting the Class Allocation Procedure by:
- Using informed professional judgement when deciding class allocations; and
- Considering all available information, including that received from parents and carers, to assist the process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CLASS ALLOCATION
Why do we ask parents to leave class allocation in the hands of the teaching staff?
As professional educators, we strive to make the right choices taking into account all the information we have. While it is certainly true parents know their children, when a parent requests a specific placement for their child, they may not have all of the relevant information.
Teachers, on the other hand, have academic and social information about all children in a particular year level.
Can I request a particular teacher for my child either in writing or through discussion with my child’s present teacher?
No, this is not part of the Class Allocation Procedure. All teachers at Our Lady of the Southern Cross are caring and committed educators who strive to ensure that all students are provided with a high-quality education.
Whilst we appreciate that you may wish your child to be placed in a class with a particular teacher, we are unable to accommodate these requests. Our College’s Leadership Team has an in-depth understanding of each teacher’s strengths which is taken into consideration when timetabling teachers. We will always endeavour to place our students with teachers who best suit individual needs. We do not re-allocate students to different classes during the school year, unless exceptional circumstances arise, eg staff changes. Parents will be advised of the situation if and when this occurs. Please note students will not be changed at parents request.
Can I request my child is placed in the same class as another child? Or, can I request my child not be placed with another particular child?
We recognise the importance of fostering and maintaining friendship groups. We also understand that it is equally important for students to mix and learn with peers who have different interests. When allocating children to classes, we endeavour to foster positive social interactions across a year group, by making socially balanced classes and to help prevent non-constructive relationships.
Occasionally, we receive a request from one family to place particular children together, while the second family requests the same children be placed in separate classes. The final decision on allocation rests with the classroom teacher/s, Assistant Principal/s, Deputy Principal and Principal.
If your child is having difficulty with a student in his/her class, please inform the classroom teacher, so that the concern can be investigated. This is an aspect of the ‘school experience’ where students learn to function socially with all kinds of people.
When I get my child’s class placement, can I request that it be changed?
Class lists are final on publication to students and parents.
What if my child is having difficulty in his/her new allocation after school has started? Can we request a change then?
Parents need to talk to the classroom teacher in the first instance. This dialogue between teacher and parents builds relationships so the child’s needs can be addressed and the issue resolved. We acknowledge that the start of the academic year can be a challenging time for students. Teachers and students need to have a sufficient period of time to learn about each other, develop relationships and establish routines. We strive to instil in our students all of our College Learning Dispositions: Persistence, Independence, Resilience, Curiosity, Motivation, Optimism and Creativity. Working through issues and finding solutions is a great way to grow in these areas. We build community through the relationships we build as teachers with students and their families. Parents play a significant role by being as positive and encouraging as possible to their children in this process.