All students are expected to meet state and local academic performance standards. The Wilkes County Board of Education acknowledges that heterogeneous grouping usually is the best means of meeting educational goals. However, the Board of Education recognizes that students may differ in the amount of time needed or the instructional methodology that will best assist them in learning the curriculum. If homogeneous grouping is used, students should be returned to the heterogeneous environment once their needs are met.
Should grouping practices be utilized, the following factors will be considered:
• the individual student’s best opportunity for achievement;
• the skill level of the student;
• the most effective instructional climate for the student;
• age and maturity levels of the students in the group;
• the most effective instructional climate for the group;
• the most effective social climate for the group and the student.
Race or sex discrimination will not be tolerated. If homogeneous grouping materially affects diversity, the school or committee proposing such grouping must demonstrate that the benefit of homogeneous grouping clearly outweighs the benefits of meeting the Board of Education’s educational goals of diversity.
The principal has the authority to assign students to classes, including the authority to group students for instruction in accordance with this policy. However, the principal should include others (classroom teachers, special education teachers and counselors) in this decision-making process. Thus, the principal may solicit recommendations from teachers and review requests by parents considering homogeneous grouping. The principal also may evaluate whether the factors that indicated the need for homogeneous grouping still exist. This policy is not intended to alter teachers’ discretion to group for instruction within classes. Such ad hoc grouping also may be considered as an intervention strategy to improve student performance. However, ad hoc grouping for daily instruction should not result in isolation for a major portion of the school day.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -81, -276, -288
Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Progression and Placement (policy 3420)
Adopted: January 9, 2006