The students are mixed together for language arts and reading lessons, but they are separated into grade-specific instructions for math and "specials" such as gym and Spanish.
The decision to combine grades was made after the Grand Haven Area Public Schools buildings underwent a grade reconfiguration that was implemented this fall. So far, the school year is off to a positive start for students and staff, Rosy Mound Principal Kevin Blanding said.
“We’re pleased with what we’re seeing so far,” he said.
Educators are noticing that second-graders are stepping up and taking on leadership roles in the combo classroom. Blanding said they hope to incorporate a leadership program and use Sean Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids,” as a resource.
When it comes to standing in front of her class of first- and second-graders, teacher Kara Vargas said it’s difficult to notice the difference in the room.
“It feels like a regular year,” she said.
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