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Planning for 2020-21

Even in these unusual times we are planning for the 2020/21 school year. While there are many questions around what it might look like in September, we are planning as we have in previous years.

Our planning starts with involves reviewing our projected enrollment and planning for the number of divisions that enrollment will allow. At this point we are planning for 20 divisions. This is a decrease in 2 divisions from our current enrollment  We hope to have our enrollment and staffing confirmed by June 30.

Our plan for September 2020 is to start our grade 6 and 8 classes organized alphabetically as we have the last few years. We have chosen to organize in this manner because of the transiency of our population, which results in a lack of certainty in our projected enrollment for September, and uncertainty around the over enrollment at Abby Middle. Our goal is to confirm our Pod lists in the second week of September. The grade 7 pods will be set the first day as there will likely be few changes because of our looping strategy. These tentative Pod lists will be posted prior to the Labour Day long weekend.

While creating Pod lists is a very important process, it is also a very inexact science. It is important for us to be confident of our numbers as we go into the summer break. If you are planning on attending Howe Middle and have not confirmed with us please contact Suzanne Bain in our office. If you are new to the area and plan on registering with us, please contact the school (Suzanne Bain) as soon as possible.

Teachers and Administrators take the responsibility of creating Pod lists very seriously and put much time and effort into creating balanced pods. While we typically loop our grade 6 and 7 classes, and we do our best to keep Gr. 7 students with their Gr. 6 teachers, there is an opportunity to move students who are having difficulty in their current Pod. Parents wishing to make a change are welcome to make requests by completing the Parent Placement Request attached.

New parents and Gr. 8 parents are welcome to make requests for their child/children to be in a Pod with a specific teacher. Please remember we enroll Pods, not classes. This means students will generally have 2 teachers providing the bulk of their education. When producing Pod lists we take a number of criteria into consideration including:

  • intellectual, social, emotional and physical development
  • learning styles and strengths of students
  • degree of independence in student work habits
  • integration of Special Education students
  • grouping certain types of learners for EA support
  • balancing levels of achievement
  • balancing gender numbers
  • social compatibility of groups and individuals

We ask that parents interested in making a placement request, please do so in writing outlining an educational explanation for the request. A request form is attached to this post, and can be picked up in the office. Creating balanced pods is both an art and a science. Teachers deliberately place students with a group that will be compatible. We consider friendships and social dynamics. A request to be with the same friend, or group of friends year after year, is not a high priority. While a parent request is considered along with the criteria mentioned previously, please recognize that such requests may not be fulfilled.

Any requests must be submitted to our office no later than Friday, June 20 at 3:00 pm.

Current until: Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Posted: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

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