Grouping for Instruction 6-53.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 6-53.1


Grouping for Instruction

  1. Generally

    The school board recognizes the different educational needs of students and endorses the use of flexible assignment of students for instruction. In an effort to foster maximum student growth, intellectually, socially, and vocationally, the school program shall use both homogeneous and heterogeneous grouping of students for learning.

  2. Assignment to Groups

    Assignment of students to classes should be carried out on the basis of the most desirable combination of a number of important factors. Those who can succeed and maintain a feeling of belonging should be grouped together with these basic considerations in mind:

    • What is best for the individual student.
    • What is best for the group with which the student is placed.
    • Whether this grouping gives the teacher a class of students that can be taught effectively.

    Chronological age is the basis for admitting students to school. Each year consideration should be given to reorganizing of classes to meet the specific needs of students. Criteria for dividing class groups should be established. These criteria are as follows (alphabetically arranged because importance of any pone criterion varies at different grade levels):

    • Chronological age
    • Group compatibility
    • Interest
    • Mental maturity
    • Reading
    • Sex
    • Social and emotional maturity
    • Special abilities
    • Teacher
  3. Kindergarten

    Students entering kindergarten are grouped according to chronological age. Shifts in placement should be made in individual cases where physical and mental maturity, language facility and social adjustment indicate a better adjustment can be made.

  4. Elementary Schools

    In the succeeding grades of the elementary school, classes should be organized in such a way as to narrow the spread of ability so that students can be taught in a reasonable number of groups within the classroom. However, careful consideration must be given to all criteria listed in this regulation and especially to those having to do with group compatibility and functioning.

  5. Middle and High Schools

    In the middle and high schools the basis for grouping into classes are common instructional needs, interests of the students, social maturity and the specific achievement level in academic areas. The elective subjects, future educational plans, special interests, vocational needs, and life-career motives become important to class grouping.

  6. Classroom

    Grouping within the classroom is desirable and teachers should be encouraged to carry out this procedure. No one set of specific criteria can be set down for all teachers since grouping is largely an individual matter. However, some factors which might be considered are:

    • Physical environment
    • Scholastic ability
    • Common interests
    • Special needs
    • Working size of groups
    • Reasonable number of groups
    • Teacher's ability to handle groups

    Grouping should be flexible. Some students may be grouped together for one activity and almost immediately following, they may be regrouped for another activity. Students should not remain in the same groups through the school year.

Approved by Superintendent: October 19, 1993