Parents should keep guides/faculty members informed of any changes in the home situation
that might affect their child. Additionally, parents should contact their child’s guide/faculty
member if anything comes up in conversation with their child that the parents think the school
Toddler, Primary and Elementary Class Placement
Alcuin School considers the following factors when deciding which classes to place students,
in order to insure effective class make-up for multi-age grouping.
Building Community - At the Montessori levels, children are clustered in learning
communities for a 2 (toddler) or 3 (primary and elementary) year period. These communities
provide a number of advantages not found in traditional schools. Children work with others
who are older and younger than themselves. The older students serve as role models and
tutors for the younger students, and in the process they gain confidence in their own abilities
and self-esteem regarding their skill level and expertise. The younger ones watch the older
ones and in the process gain a clear vision of what is expected of them. They have the
benefit of working with and learning from their peers as well as the guide/faculty member.
This community is a direct preparation for life in the family and in the work place. We carry
this trend on in Middle School and Upper School through group trips, service opportunities
and community responsibility.
Balance of Needs and Learning Styles - Each learning community develops its own
personality. The placement of children in these communities as they move from one level to
another, is a very important task. Each community needs a blend of learning and personality
styles so that it truly reflects larger communities.
Siblings and Friends - Siblings and clusters of friends are not usually placed together. A
child grows from developing new relationships with others. Building community requires
individuals to extend themselves beyond their immediate circle of comfortable relationships.
The Placement Process - In traditional school settings, a child’s placement in a classroom is
often determined by the child’s ability to get along with the guide/faculty member (and vice
versa). Alcuin School is not a teacher-centered educational system. It is child-centered.
When students are moving from one program to another, their assets and strengths are
analyzed, and then students are placed in a learning community that can benefit and
enhance their gifts. Placement is determined by matching the skills and needs of the
individual with the skills and needs of the learning community.
Primary Extended Day Placement - As children exhibit readiness for a longer day in the
classroom community, the guide will invite them to begin staying for extended day. This
readiness is determined by the classroom guide’s observations of the child in the community.
This generally happens between 4½ and 5 years of age. While there may be some flexibility
for beginning extended day, the expectation is that in order for us to deliver the Primary
curriculum, children must begin extended day no later than 5 years of age.
Three-Year Commitment - Because the composition of a learning community is selected
very carefully, it is rare for children to be transferred from one community to another during
this three-year period. The school asks parents and children to make a three-year
commitment to the learning community and, within that three-year period, to take the
opportunity of getting to know other parents and children so that adults can also experience
the benefit of a community network.
Parent Requests - The school does not honor parent requests for children to be placed in
particular classrooms. Administration and faculty work hard to make sure that every child is
placed in an environment where his needs will be met. Parents with concerns about their
child’s learning style during a time of transition are more than welcome to meet with the
appropriate Division Head to discuss those concerns.