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From the Principal
Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:35 AM

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Dear Barton parents and guardians,

As we approach the last two months of the school year, I would like to review Barton’s philosophy for organizing classrooms for next year. Barton School’s overarching and continuing commitment is to create classrooms that are well-balanced according to age, gender, race, ability level and student needs. Integrated classrooms are in alignment with the value we place on educating for a democratic society.  Our commitment to this includes strategies for differentiation as well as an emphasis on inclusion and flexible, strength-based grouping whenever possible.

The placement process involves a great deal of thoughtfulness and deliberation on the part of the teaching staff. Homeroom teachers and our specialist teachers (who know all the kids) work together, within and across grade-level teams, to balance each child’s individual needs (the social, emotional and intellectual) within the broader parameters of a large group of children.

Our historical practice and current school placement policy stipulates that decisions about student assignments are made without input from parents regarding teacher preferences. I want to emphasize the importance of parents respecting our commitment to balanced classrooms and the thoughtful engagement of our whole staff in advocating for individual students within the mix of larger group needs. In the coming year, we will be looking at ways to continue to incorporate some co-teaching and heightened interdisciplinary work into our instruction of students. Our extensive experience with class placement over many years at Barton Open School has taught us that well-balanced, integrated classrooms at every grade level serve our students and our teachers in the best possible way.

With appreciation,

Patrick

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