Last Monday, we walked to school and got their way too early for any day let alone on a Monday. I left Finley at her door and walked with Penelope with hers and chatted with some parents until the would ring. Only it didn't. 8:20am came and no bell. Finley's old kindergarten teacher came out and spoke to the teachers who were on outdoor supervision and said that they had called an emergency staff meeting and they went in. Myself, along with other parents, wondered what could possibly be going on that they would require an emergency meeting when school was about to start. Finally at8:35am, the teacher assistants came out and the bell rang and students started going in. Some teachers did come out and you could tell they were visibly upset. I knew that many parents would be bombarding the office with questions as to what was going on and I had assumed that an email would be sent out or something would be the in their agendas.
After no email was received, I asked the girls about it and they had no idea they even went into the school 15 minutes late and thought we were just extra early that morning. I spoke with more parents on Tuesday and they still had no idea and then that night Finley came home and said one of the grade 3 teachers was crying and went home after first recess. I was telling my friend that and she thought that was strange and then she messaged me after school that day telling me that the teacher was transferred out due to 75 kids leaving the school. And shortly after that, we got an email from the school confirming that plus a few other teachers and grades that were being affected.
They eliminated a grade one class and a grade 3 class and 2 other older grades that I don't have kids in so I don't know what happened there. They were merging the kids of the eliminated classes with the 2 other grade one and three classes and then there would be a grade 1-2 split and a grade 3-4 split. I wasn't too worried about Penelope but Finley was adamant about not wanting to be put into the split. And on Thursday and Friday when I picked them up from school, she was so relieved to hear that I didn't get any phone calls and she would stay in her class. She had nothing to worry about on Monday other then if her best friend would get put into her class or the other classes.
So we thought.
Because both kids come out different doors this year, I waited in the middle so I could see both kids come out and they could see me. Finley was later then usual coming out but I thought nothing of it until she came running out that she was in the 3-4 split and she would be coming out the same door as Penelope now. I was like wait, what?? One of the parents of a kid in Finley's class the last 2 years was surprised that I didn't know that Finley was being transferred. She said she got a call on Thursday that he would be moving into the split class and then got a call as they were driving to school Monday morning that they changed their mind and he was staying in the same class. Finley said she and 2 boys were moved to the split class and had to pack up their desks and all of their belongings alone in front of the entire class and she said she was crying because she was so sad to leave her teacher, desk and classmates. I asked Finley if she was ok with being in the split class since I knew she didn't want to go and she said it was ok because she did have a few of her friends from grade 2 in there with her so that made me a little happy.
My problem isn't necessarily that she got moved into a split class but that we were not notified that this was going to happen. This is a lot of change for kids who are only 8 years old to have to go through and I feel had we known that this was going to happen, we could have mentally prepared Finley that she was going to move. The classroom is divided into two with grade 3 on one side and grade 4 on the other. Greg was in splits throughout elementary and he loved it and thinks this will be really beneficial to Finley but I have never experienced this and I really have no idea how you can teach to both grade 3 + 4's when they both should be learning different curriculum. And if you teach half the class their stuff and then the other half theirs, won't it be distracting?? Will she learn too much this year and be bored in grade 4?? If anybody has any insight on this, I would really appreciate it.
Thankfully, parent teacher interviews are on Friday and I can discuss this with Finley's teacher and ask why things were done how they were, why weren't notified and how they picked which students went where. Finley said that the three smartest kids were taken from her class and put into the split class. Not sure if that is true or if Finley is just overly confident.
Wish us luck that this is a smooth transition short term and a successful one long term.
Penelope was mostly unaffected by the reorganization as she gained 5 kids from another grade 2 class that was being turned into a 1 - 2 split.