As a hot and smokey summer drags along Spokane parents and some elementary children start looking ahead and wondering, “What teacher will I have?” And, “Who will be my classmates?”
How to answer that question varies school to school.
In Spokane Public Schools each elementary school decides “when and how to release teacher/student classroom rosters,” according to a district Facebook post.
Some schools mail out class rosters in early August. Others don’t post them until shortly before the start of school. Parents with questions about their schools’ policy should call the school office after Aug. 16. Parents can check the online directory to find their schools number.
District Spokesman Kevin Morrison doesn’t exactly know why that process varies. But, it’s something school administrators hope to change.
“Some of it is just that the office staff are not back,” he said. “I’m not really sure. We’re working toward a more consistent approach to it.”
Creating class rosters is a complicated process with overlapping considerations such as class size, changing school demographics and teacher availability, he said.
Between now and the start of school “a school could increase by 50 or a 100 students or decrease by that many,” Morrison said.
Some schools have higher mobility rates - a measure of how many students transfer in and out of a school - than others. In those cases, Morrison said, it might be harder to create a class roster in advance.
In the spring teachers start to consider what students they have and try to “balance out students and student attributes,” Morrison said. That could mean not putting 20 English language learners in one classroom, or considering which students need a reading aid.
Teachers and administrators reconvene near the end of August and update the class rosters in response to any changes that occurred over the summer.
“It becomes very difficult of course just because of the amount of transfers,” Morrison said.