Flexible Skills Grouping
Aspen View Academy uses flexible skills groupings for math and reading. Flexible skills grouping is a founding principle of Aspen View Academy.
Therefore, teachers adapt Aspen View Academy’s textbooks to meet the needs of flexible skills grouping. Textbooks are the tools available to the teacher to assist them in delivering the curriculum.
Students are placed in small groups where smaller group size is most important in the lower grades. However, it is understood that the student population changes from year to year and that primary, intermediate and middle school levels will implement flexible skills grouping differently. Students are placed in flexible skills groups that best meet their individual needs and students making progress within a certain group may not need to be moved to another group.
Instructional materials are tailored to the specific needs of the students in the groups and the instructional content is unique to each flexible skills group. The classroom teacher and administrator make the decision concerning who instructs each group. Groups may be instructed by the classroom teacher, instructional aides, or parent volunteers. Important factors in the decision include the level of instruction and the background and expertise of the instructors. Teachers are fully responsible for the oversight, planning and assessment of all groups.
Students are assessed at the beginning of the school year for placement in groups. Additionally, students are assessed throughout the school year to ensure correct placement in groups. New students are assessed within the first few weeks. Frequent assessment is critical to ensure that groups are fluid. Moreover, teacher observations, testing and other evaluation tools may be utilized to reassess students’ progress.
Teachers regularly communicate with parents explaining the group placement for the student. Parents are notified, in writing, of their child’s flexible skills grouping placement at the beginning of the school year after testing is completed and whenever a change in placement is made.
At each parent-teacher conference, teachers communicate the student’s current performance compared to national averages in math and reading and explain how Aspen View Academy is meeting the needs of that student at that particular level. For students who are behind, teachers provide specific suggestions for enhancing the student’s achievement.
Aspen View Academy recognizes that students may need further enrichment in their flexible skills groups. Grades will not be weighted if a student is working above grade level, nor will a student’s grade be lowered if he or she is working below grade level.
It is our shared goal that all students be placed in a flexible skills group that meets their individual and unique needs. Flexible skills grouping is a distinctive trait of Aspen View Academy that furthers each students’ academic success.