thundersmom's picture

Class PLacement

I live in a small town. One elementary school. In this school, they have something called, the "sibling rule" in which children with siblings get the same teacher for first and second grade so as foster the family/teacher/student relationship. I believe it is to funnel the more desirable children, notables in our town, with the better teachers. I tried to get my son in with a certain teacher for kindergarten and was told, even before academic testing had been done, that the class was full because of the sibling rule!
Anyhow, he is now going into first grade. There were 19 kids in his K class with only 5 1st grade classes to be placed in. He was placed with a new teacher with only one of his K classmates. I complained because it isn't a matter of "friends" per se that he is moving up with , it is just the familiarity of having a few classmates carry on with him. In stark contrast, there are upwards of 4,5,and 6 or more kids moving up together from other classes. The response from the principal was that they don't consider friends when placing students ( i didn't suggest that, just a classmate) and because I had mentioned there was a certain boy in his 1st G class that had been a thorn in my son's side all K year, she moved him from the class into an inclusion class of 20 kids wherein the teacher is pregnant and will be leaving for the first 8 weeks! Is is just me or does this sound like a public school with a private agenda and a very unaccommodating and spiteful principal?

myboy's picture

File a complaint with the school board. I would! Sounds like the elite are sticking together as usual. The sibiling rule is bullcrap!!

2xstepmom's picture

The very small school system my children attended had the opposite, a NO siblings rule. Twins could not even be in the same class and siblings never had the same teacher, even 7 years later (my children were 7 grades apart) when I requested the same sympathetic 2nd grade teacher for my younger child who was having anxiety issues.

The school the children I nanny attend has the same no siblings rule and the stated reason is so that there is no chance of favoritism. Every class has a group of 5-6 children that moves up together. They may not necessarily be friends, but the reasoning is for there to be some peer familiarity in the next grade. I have heard only positive feedback for this.

The way you state that the school operates seems unreasonable. You should file a complaint to see if the school board is aware of this shady seeming policy. Parents must complain for change to occur.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

We live in a small town too w/ one elementary school. From what I've heard, siblings can be paired together in pre-k for comfort purposes. After that, however, it's recommended to separate siblings/friends so they can have their own identities, meet new friends, and not feel compelled to compete. This is not to say they won't be in the same classes again in future yrs. I think this is a good thing. As for being able to choose a teacher, our school allows you to do that if there's room in the class for another child. In our case, we've considered public school for our son who's in special ed. Not all the teachers are spec ed certified, but from what we hear the ones who are certified can be requested for the classes he'd be maintreamed in.
Look into the situation further, and talk to other parents. A lot of BS goes on in schools, especially in small towns like ours. You just have to dig up the dirt, rub it in their faces a bit and really get on these people to get what you want. Good luck w/ everything.

bpenny's picture

As a teacher I know class placement can be a hot button for all involved. At my small town school we (teachers and principal) try to balance the class by distributing leaders, behavior challenged, gender and academic levels. We don't look at names or call 'dibs' on favorites. We don't get to request or refuse any child. Parents can request a teacher but there is a time limit for that to minimize changes after school starts. Being with friends may sound good to a parent but think also what problems can develope while in class. It may not be the best reason for requesting a placement. A good teacher will help kids become an important part of the new group.

liltaz168's picture

I'd like your opinion. 5 year old in kindergarten - classes started 3 weeks ago. There apparently was increased late enrollment and they want to reorganize the classes to create 2 more (there are already 20 classes). We all went to the screening/ orientation.

This is his first experience with full day classes. He likes his teacher and classmates. What type of problems can I expect if he is moved? What type of objection can I state? As a teacher - any thoughts?