Seymour Heights Elementary
North Vancouver School District
Planning and Student Placement



We take student placement very seriously and go through a meticulous process. At the initial stage in our planning, we anticipate a Kindergarten to Grade Seven enrolment of approximately 240 students. Based on this projected number of students, we will receive our staffing entitlement. 

Once an organization has been decided upon and teachers have been assigned a class within that organization, the process of assigning students to classes begins. Our class placement process ensures that thoughtful consideration of each child's social, emotional, and academic needs are aligned with the needs to create balanced and effective learning environments. The assignment of students to classes is decided by a team, which includes the child's current teacher, possible teachers for the coming year, specialists such as the English Language Learner Teacher, Learning Assistance Teacher, School Counselor, and the School Administration. This professional team considers each placement carefully as they create classes that include a wide range of students who learn in a variety of ways.

Once we have all of the information available to us, the following decisions can be made:

  • the number of divisions at each grade level
  • the number of students in each class
  • where classes will be combined (4/5, 6/7, etc.)
  • the amount of time provided to other disciplines in the school such as Music
  • what grade levels teachers will request to teach

Student Placement

Student placement is a very complex process that we take very seriously. We take a collaborative approach when planning for student placement with all stakeholders (parents, students, staff) having a voice in the process.

  1. *Parent Input Form (optional): parents can complete the ​​​Student Placement Request form.pdf and send an electronic copy to or print it off and drop it at the main office. Information is sent in the April and May newsletters – please note the due date of parent input is May 31, and it may not be possible to meet all input requests as classes are determined.
  2. Student Feedback: in late May, we ask students to choose up to five students who they work well with (and not their best friend). We are unable to make any promises, and we do our best to accommodate students' lists by placing them with one or two students.
  3. Teacher/Specialists: our school staff and specialists (such as counselor, administration, Learning Assistance Teachers, etc) place students and review lists several times up until the opening day of the new school year.

*Please note that the Parent Input for Student Placement form will not be accepted if names of staff members are used in your input, and the form will be returned to the sender with a reminder of the placement criteria. As educators, we have the professional duty of placing students based on what is best for the school. Our goal is to meet the needs of all students in order to maximize their growth as learners.

In addition to individual circumstances, criteria considered in the placement process include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Workable instructional groups considering:
    • the child's academic needs and strengths
    • teaching and learning styles
    • the child's work habits
  1. Positive social groups considering:
    • placements where a child can work positively and productively with other children in the class
    • peer support or conflicts
    • establishing the presence of positive leaders in each class
    • ratio of grades in split classes
  1. Balanced classes considering:
    • gender (male/female)
    • students with Special Needs identifications
    • students who are English Language Learners
    • academic, social, and emotional needs and abilities
    • leadership abilities 
  1. Other Information considered:
    • the past history of students in combined or single grade classes
    • school-based resource team recommendations 

A Note on Combined Classes

Combined (or split) class organizations result from imbalances in the number of students in particular grade levels. Class size limits are set by the Ministry of Education. In today's reality that often means that the school organization needs to include some split classes. For example, we might have 41 Grade One students, but the class size limit is 22. We would need to create a Grade 1 class and a Grade 1/2 class with the remainder of the Grade 1 students and some Grade 2 students. Depending on the number of students at each grade level, using all of the criteria above may well result in the creation of some split classes.

Many areas of the student's growth are considered in a student's placement such as: social skill development, independence in work habits, leadership potential, personal initiative, and organizational skills. Consideration is also given to previous placement in a split or combined class. Please rest assured that if your child is placed in a split (combined) class the grade appropriate curriculum that is prescribed by the Ministry of Education will be taught.

For more information, please review this resource on combined classes​.