École Sherwood Park Elementary
North Vancouver School District
Planning and Student Placement

​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 450 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 is aligned with the need 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 Feedback (optional): parents can complete the Parent Information for Student Placement form (found below) and hand in to the main office via Apr and May newsletters – please note the due date.
  2. Student Feedback: in June, we ask students to choose up to five students who they work well with (and not their best friend). 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.

In addition to individual circumstances, criteria considered in the placement process include:

  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
  • 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 about 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 24; we would need to create a Grade One class and a Grade One/Two class with the remainder of the Grade One students and some Grade Two 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, physical size, 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 and Child Care will be taught.

    If there is information that the current classroom teacher and/or the principal does not have and should consider when placing your child, please complete the Parental Information for Student Placement Sheet (link is found at the end) and submit it to the main office no later than May 31. Information sheets received after May 31 will not be considered for student placement for the next school year.

    Please consider the placement criteria referenced above when describing your child's needs. Please describe a learning environment that may suit your child's learning style/needs (academic, social, emotional). If you are requesting placements that involve other students (one or two at most), please think carefully before making your request and provide an explanation for that request. The information that you provide in your information sheet will be given to the team of professionals described above, to be used along with the criteria listed above in the placement of your child. Please note that it may not be possible to meet all requests as classes are determined.


    Please note that no information sheets will be accepted if names of staff members are used in outlining your requests/concerns. These information sheets will be returned to the sender with a reminder of the placement criteria outlined above. Our goal is to meet the needs of all students in order to maximize their growth as learners. We appreciate your support in this complex multi-level process of arranging educationally sound and balanced classes.

    Parent Feedback Form for student placement can be found HERE.