In building on our successes at Nerstrand Elementary, we have been transitioning the multiage grade configurations for the past two years to offer a consistent experience for all students that is aligned to our school mission. Our mission to provide a nurturing, multiage environment which fosters collaboration and character development, has led us to look comprehensively at grade configuration.
Last school year, Savannah (which was previously grades 1 - 3) transitioned to a grades two and three multiage. We call the kindergarten and first grade experience ‘Prairie’, using the team name for two grade levels represented -- the same way that we do for each of our other teams: Savannah’ for grades two and three, and ‘Woodlands’ for grades four and five.
Since the beginning of this school year the kindergarten and first grade students have been learning together in multiage groups during specialist time for physical education and music. Beginning second semester, their learning in science and social studies themes began as multiage groups. Math will remain at grade level, as is also the case in Savannah and Woodlands.
Educational research indicates that students benefit both academically and emotionally from being placed in multiage classrooms. Multiage classrooms and homeroom experiences are among the things that make Nerstrand Elementary student learning experience unique.
The Nerstrand School Board is committed to transitioning the kindergarten and first grades to multiage to strengthen the overall learning experience by offering it consistently at each level. Next Fall, the K-1 students will begin the school year, in a multiage classroom, like the other teams.
The Nerstrand School Board believes that the transition to kindergarten and first grade multiage learning will allow students to build on their successes effectively throughout their learning continuum at Nerstrand Elementary. We are excited about the multiage transition work and the opportunity to offer continuity to the experience in ways that strengthen the learning outcomes for all students.