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Student Placement Process

The student placement process is quite complex and many factors enter into the decision-making process. Teachers meet in grade level teams (with assistance from specialists, resource room teacher, ELL teacher, guidance team members, etc.) to consider these factors. Listed below are some of the factors (not in any particular order) considered before final class lists are prepared:

  • the program needs of the child
  • balanced ratio of boys and girls
  • a balance of achievement levels in literacy and mathematics
  • motivation level of each student
  • behavior factors regarding each student
  • compatibility of students with others in the classroom (i.e., separating students who have not worked well together in the past)
  • independent work habits
  • social needs and leadership skills
  • information provided by the teacher

Teachers take the task of placement quite seriously. We assure you that each grade level team takes much time, effort, and care in developing class rosters that result in offering all children a quality educational experience. Once balanced rosters are created teachers will then be assigned.

Parent Information and Input

Many parents ask what opportunity they have in providing input into their child’s placement from year to year. As parents you may have pertinent information about your child that you would like considered in the placement process. Examples of information staff find helpful are: “Please separate my twins, Blake and Morgan,” or “Please do not place my daughter Mary in the same class as Jane since they are cousins” or “Please separate Bobby and Steven since we are neighbors and they play together all of the time.”

We strive to create and maintain classroom environments that are warm, structured, nurturing, caring, supportive, and challenging for every child. For the placement process, the task for the teachers is to develop balanced classrooms based on the knowledge they have about all students.

Parent Input Letter

Parents have the opportunity to write a letter to provide input for placement. If you write a letter, it is believed that you have information that the current teacher does not have or may be unaware of. A letter is optional. If you choose to write a letter, please include your child’s name, current grade level, teacher’s name, and parents’ names. Be reassured that these letters will be kept confidential. I will use the information in the letter to help place students. Please send a separate written letter (no e-mails) for each child to:

Drew Terry, Principal
Cougar Ridge Elementary
4630 167th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

You may also drop off your letter with our front office. We will not accept letters that specify teachers by individual name, gender, or experience. These requests will be discarded.

Deadline for parent input letters is determined annually. No letters will be accepted beyond the deadline.