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    Our Philosophy on Multi-Age Classrooms and Classroom Placement
    Posted on 08/14/2018
    Red apple and school books

    At Cedar Park, Academic growth and achievement for every student is a critical component of our school’s mission and our equity initiatives. When organizing classroom configurations, Cedar Park faculty take multiple factors into account to create balanced and supportive classrooms (such as balancing academic and support needs, gender, learning styles, social groups and a variety of other factors). Good classrooms are successfully built when faculty have a good familiarity with all the students and their varying strengths, personalities and needs rather than by making classroom assignments based on assumptions regarding numerical grade level numbers or singular data points.

    As over 60% of our 2018-2019 schoolmates will be new to Cedar Park this year, we are committed to taking the necessary time to get to know them and their families personally, as well as understanding each student's academic strengths and growth opportunities. We will be taking the first 3 days of school (Sept. 5-7) to get to know our new 1st – 5th graders (Kindergarten’s first day is Monday, September 10) and to reacquaint ourselves with our returning students. By investing this time in the first few days to gather information and build these relationships, we will be able to avoid losing valuable instruction time and achievement in the long run.

    In the primary grades (K-2), literacy and math are a continuum of skills acquired over time, rather than singular skills gained in a singular grade level. For this reason, Cedar Park will be doing a flexibly-grouped model during literacy and math instruction for the primary grades. Using real-time formative data we will be grouping students with like learning needs in small groups. Using this model we will strive to ensure students receive just-right instruction independent of homeroom placement.

    We are pleased to be able to, once again, offer our multi-aged recesses and lunch times. This practice was successful last year in fostering grade-level and cross-grade-level friendships that had powerful effects on the social/emotional learning of Cedar Park students. We look forward to seeing our students develop and grow as they foster these friendships.