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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TLC teams and looping

Question: During the TLC open house, it was noted that the school was broken into three teams (red, white and blue). Can you explain a little more about this? Does this mean that children will remain on the same team for each year they are at TLC? Also, are all teachers looping, and does that mean that children will have the same teacher and classmates for grades K-2?

Answer: The Learning Community does have three teams, each of which includes two kindergarten classes, two first grade classes and two second grade classes. Each team will complete two activities together during the year -- a citizenship project and a community service project.

The teams were designed to help students make connections both horizontally (with their classmates) and vertically (with students who are older and/or younger). They were also designed to help students make connections with the adults in The Learning Community and help them feel safe and secure within the building. Overall, we hope the teams will be a positive experience for both kids and their families. The TLC Task Force is evaluating the use of teams and will continue to explore other options that will help students make connections with peers and adults.

This year, some students have the same teacher and classmates they had last year -- a scenario called "looping." When The Learning Community was restructured over the summer, some teachers were looped and assigned the same students they had last year. However, we made sure that any parent who did not want their child to have the same teacher as the year before had the option of moving to a different classroom. As for the possibility of looping in future years, right now we're leaving a two-year loop (K-1 or 1-2) open as an option. We'll make final decisions about looping in the spring.

- answered by Terry LaFountain, The Learning Community Principal


  1. Was there a big problem with kids not feeling safe in past years? Why the focus on them feeling safe? Seems to take time away from teaching.

  2. When we talk about the children feeling safe, we aren't talking about safety in terms of non-violence - our schools have always been safe that way. What we mean by "safe" is that we want students to feel like they belong, that they're part of the group -- we want them to feel comfortable enough to participate in their classes in all subjects without the fear of being ridiculed or made fun of. In a group setting, sometimes even adults don't contribute if they feel their comments or opinions won't be well-taken by others. We simply don't want kids to be afraid to raise their hands and say what they think. So what we meant by safety is more of an emotional safety rather than physical safety.

  3. I thought this is what our school has done for years!! I have had 2 daughters go through K-6 and I always thought the school was making the children feel comfortable and secure. Were we misled then when we assumed that the district was doing that?