Elementary Placement Procedures and Change of Placement

Mathematics and English Literacy

To best meet the individual needs of students, the steps below will be followed to provide a more accurate initial placement in Mathematics, English Literacy Reading, and English Literacy Writing, and to allow for changes throughout the year. This placement policy is intended to best meet students’ needs by supporting movement in Mathematics and Literacy. Students are placed by age in homeroom classes to support their social and emotional growth; they are placed by achievement level in Mathematics and Literacy to support their academic growth and provide appropriately challenging instruction.

Initial Testing & Placement of Students in Mathematics and Literacy

  1. Testing is part of the decision for placement. To help determine a new student’s achievement levels, the following assessments may be administered:
    1. Mathematics: Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), End of Book test, or another age-level placement test.
    2. Reading: MAP, Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment (F&P), Gates MacGinitie, Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), or Stanford English Language Proficiency (SELP).
    3. Writing Sample: Student is given a short prompt toward which to respond.
  2. Review previous school records to gain an understanding of the student’s past academic performance.
  3. Discuss with parents the academic, social, emotional, and physical development of the child. Discuss the strengths/weaknesses and individual needs of the child. 
  4. Meet with the student to determine strengths, weaknesses, interests, and needs. 
  5. Inform parents via letter when placement corresponds appropriately with the student’s age group for Mathematics and Literacy. Resource Teacher, Director of Instruction, and Director are to meet with parents and discuss placement if recommended placement does not correspond to the student’s age group.
  6. All teachers will be notified at least one day before the new student enters the school whenever possible.
  7. Literacy folders will be created by the receiving elementary teacher(s) as soon as the student is placed. The folders keep a record of a child’s progress through the elementary program, and should be passed on to the next teacher each year.
  8. Placement will be based on the best professional judgment of the school’s placement team, who will consider previous school records, testing results, and parent input. This team should consist of parents, teachers, and school administrators. The team will be flexible and willing to adjust student placement as needed. It is the responsibility of the receiving teacher and the school to meet the student’s social and emotional needs so that the student may be placed at appropriate academic levels.
  9. If adjustment in placement is necessary, it will be done as a team. A letter will follow any changes in placement recording what has taken place.
  10. If testing, classwork, and observations indicate that the student would benefit by being placed more than one class level below age, or more than two class levels above age, the parents should be involved in a discussion of the benefits and challenges of placing the child in the class that is at the child’s academic performance level. If the parents do not want the child placed in a class that is more than one year below or two years above age level, then options for instruction include:
    1. Intensive English, if the student is testing below age level in Literacy.
    2. One-on-one instruction, with parents or parents’ employer(s) covering associated costs. 
    3. Differentiated or individualized instruction within the homeroom.
    4. Other arrangements, as agreed upon by the placement team as meeting the needs of the child.

Changes in class placement or movement in Mathematics and/or Literacy

Students who are being evaluated for adjusted placement in Mathematics and/or Literacy Reading and Literacy Writing, based on achievement level, will have a body of evidence to support this movement placed in the child’s permanent school file. This body of evidence will be collected by the appropriate school personnel responsible for testing and placed in the child’s school file.

  1. Consider the age of the student. Placement decisions should be made carefully, with the best interests of the child in mind. If testing, classwork, and observations indicate that the student would benefit by being placed more than one class level below age, or more than two class levels above age, the parents should be involved in a discussion of the benefits and challenges of placing the child in the class that is at the child’s academic performance level. If the parents do not want the child placed in a class that is more than one year below or two years above age level, then options for instruction include:
    1. Intensive English, if the student is testing below age level in Literacy.
    2. One-on-one instruction, with parents or parents’ employer(s) covering associated costs. 
    3. Differentiated or individualized instruction within the homeroom.
    4. Other arrangements, as agreed upon by the placement team as meeting the needs of the child.
  2. Test the student in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. This is the responsibility of the Resource Teacher, Director of Instruction, or Director (depending on size of school). Reading and Writing will be considered in conjunction with one another toward movement. In order for a student’s placement to be changed, any standardized test results should be exceptionally high (for example, >90th percentile) or exceptionally low (for example, <20th percentile).
    1. IF a student’s writing ability does not indicate a need for a change in placement, the student will remain at current age level in reading and writing. Writing ability must match the child’s reading ability.
    2. In Literacy Reading, students may be given the following assessments:
      1. Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, normally given to all students in September/October and May/June in elementary reading courses.
      2. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) reading assessment, normally given to all students in the fall and spring.
      3. Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA).
      4. Gates-MacGinitie.
    3. In Literacy Writing, students may be given the following assessments:
      1. Writing Sample – The student may be given a writing prompt by the examiner, and the resulting sample will be scored using the 6 Traits +1 scoring rubric.
      2. Several authentic writing samples provided by the classroom teacher.
      3. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) language usage assessment.
    4. In Mathematics students may be given the following assessments:
      1. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) mathematics assessment.
      2. Mathematics Test/s from the current mathematics curriculum
  3. Observations of the student in the classroom may be conducted. Observations should focus on academic work in class and the academic behavior of the student, and notes from them should be placed in the child’s school file. It is the responsibility of the receiving teacher and the school to meet the student’s social and emotional needs so that the student may be placed at an appropriate academic level.
  4. Meeting of the placement team, consisting of current and receiving teachers, administrators, and the guidance counselor (if applicable). The school’s placement team will consider testing results, teacher observations, and parental wishes.
  5. A meeting with the parents that includes Teacher, Resource Teacher, Director of Instruction, and/or Director will help decide on placement.
  6. Inform Office Manager for record keeping and financial purposes.

Referral Procedures

If a need for evaluation of placement of a student is identified by a teacher, administrator, or parent, the person requesting the placement evaluation should complete a referral form from the Director, Resource Teacher, or the Director of Instruction. All changes in classes will go through the following procedures.

  1. A written referral is submitted by the teacher to the Director, Resource Teacher, or Director of Instruction.
  2. A meeting is set up by the Resource Teacher, Director of Instruction, or Director to discuss the testing procedures and testing schedule, and to gather the academic evidence from the student’s file that may reflect on a placement decision. Present at this meeting should be the referring teacher, Resource Teacher, Director, and/or the Director of Instruction. The receiving teacher(s) and parents may be present depending on the nature of the change.
  3. A meeting will be held with the appropriate staff attending once the required testing materials, academic evidence, and summaries are gathered. The Resource Teacher, Director, and/or Director of Instruction will document in writing the points of the discussion and meeting and the decision reached concerning placement.
  4. Parents are invited to attend a formal meeting where the testing results will be shared. If parents cannot attend the meeting, every attempt to communicate the situation will be made through whatever channels necessary. Parents will be informed in writing about the school’s decision regarding the student’s placement. This letter will be placed in the child’s permanent school file. If the school has determined that it is appropriate for the student to move to a different Mathematics and/or Literacy Reading and Literacy Writing placement, the parents will be asked to sign an Out-of-Age Placement letter that will be placed in the child’s permanent school file.
  5. The student begins the revised program.