Preserve Struble Class Structure
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We are parents or guardians of children who attend or attended Struble Elementary School. Struble has implemented a system of rotating or departmentalizing math, science and social studies for children in 5th grade for several years. This has been a successful model and it was implemented in 4th grade this past year. We have learned that there has been a District wide decision that this system is now only permitted for 6th grade classes. Departmentalizing allows teacher to specialize. While elementary school teachers may certainly be capable of teaching all subjects, upper elementary school children benefit from specialization. Teacher enthusiasm for their subject passes onto the children. Prepping only one subject allows the teacher to spend more time prepping to differentiate within the subject. This has been particularly useful as the District has chosen to experiment with different curricula for the past few years in subjects like math. Exposure to more than one teacher during the school day helps children develop organizational skills and allows them to experience more than one teaching style and personality. One teacher per subject also ensures that children are advancing through the curriculum at the same pace, not some weeks ahead or behind others. In a building like Struble there is not lost time due to changing classrooms as Struble has a pod classroom design per grade. Struble students also score comparatively well on standardized testing within the District, one indicator that the model works well. We ask that the District reverse its uniform policy and allow each building to decide what system works best in light of its unique student population, teacher staff, and physical layout.
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Stephanie Gonzalez Ferrandez and Leann Hart
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