Transitioning from 2nd to 3rd grade

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Principal Stephanie Lukas led a brief meeting on what to expect as your child transitions from 2nd to 3rd grade.

The notes below were taken by a parent representative.

Arrival and Dismissal

The biggest change for incoming 3rd graders is students can arrive on the 19th Street entrance. 19th Street is a child only entrance. When students enter, they go straight up to their classrooms. Third grade dismisses on 19th Street, the far side of the building toward 2nd Avenue. Children will shake hands with their teachers, as they are dismissed to their grown-ups, the same has they have been.

Passes aren’t issued for 3rd grade parents for arrival and dismissal.

If there is a younger sibling or siblings, you can send a note to the older student’s teacher and they’ll be dismissed to the cafeteria, gathering at the youngest child’s table. Or if your child will be attending Wingspan, you’ll let their teacher know and they’ll gather in the 3rd floor gym.

Class Size

For 1st-5th grade, class size can grow to 32. The number of 3rd graders registered dictates how many classes we will have. Currently we expect to have three 3rd grades for 2017-18.

Various structures are in place to support the larger class size:

Teacher Assistants

To help with class size, teacher assistants are hired, thanks to PTA/parents, and each teacher vets his/her own assistant.

Differentiation

Teachers continually assess students to gage how they are progressing. Once assessed, small group instruction (typically groups of six) is tailored to meet students’ specific needs. Hands-on learning stations with varying teaching points is another technique used to support differentiated instruction in literacy, math and social studies.

Intervention

Reading intervention happens every day in classrooms through guided instruction. We also draw on specialty teachers, who have been classroom teachers, to provide individual support to readers and mathematicians who have yet to make the jump to the next level.

State Testing

Testing begins in 3rd grade, with state ELA and math exams. The ELA is made up multiple choice questions and an essay portion, the math includes multiple choice and short answer problems. From day one, our curriculum prepares students for the state exams. What we do need to prepare them for is the test format and test taking skills and strategies.

The ELA and Math exams are not the criteria for promotion, but results are considered as a factor in promotion.