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Is 1st/2nd grade combo class beneficial for 2nd grader?


hhchavez2002 August 26, 2012

my son was in the advance reading when he was in 1st grade, his reading lessons and quizzes scored no less than 94% out of 100% each time, his 1st grade report cards showed nothing but "O - outstanding" and "S - Satisfactory", I don't understand why will he be placed in the 1st/2nd combo class when he should be in the 2nd grade class.
Does anyone know is it beneficial for my son as a 2nd grader to be placed in 1st/2nd combo class?
Any opinion helps, thank you!

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mdorn05 September 4, 2012


Would you mind coming back here in the next few months and share the result. MY daughter's school also plan to open split class this year, but they said they will select the students for split class after winter break.


hhchavez2002 September 3, 2012

Thank you all very much for your suggestions, I have spoken with the teacher and she explained to me about her plans on teaching both grades, she seems to be an experienced teacher on teaching combo class, thank you all and I will give it a try and see how it goes.


svacho September 3, 2012

Hey! I understand your concerns! My child was in a 1/2 combo class last year at her private school because at the start of the year there were not enough students in either grade to warrant 2 separate classes. Fortunately the teacher had taught both grades and the school curriculum was designed around each child working at their own ability. So my A student had no trouble staying on top of her game in the combined class. She continued to work at and above her abilities in all subjects. She remained an honor student. She reads at over a 5th grade level, does 3rd and 4th grade math, etc. I would take MagnetMom's advice and just keep an eye on things and see how it is going. You might find this is actually a VERY GOOD thing for your student!! It will foster independence and self reliance.


ggshome September 2, 2012

My son was in a combo class for 1st and 2nd grade. He did thrive in this class and we were grateful to have him there for many reasons. First, it was the only class of this kind in the school. There were two teachers who co taught for 12 years this way. They had more flexibility to offer course work that meets the needs of each student. The younger can do 2nd grade work if necessary, the older can lead and teach the younger. Additionally, I think it helps them feel comfortable knowing where they are going the second year. He started in the pull out gifted program in 2nd grade one day a week at the recommendation of these teachers. The full time gifted students (2 of the 10 in the entire district were 2nd grade) attended the combo class for PE, Music, Art, lunch and recess. Unless there are problems as are mentioned in other posts, doing this for funding purposes to reduce numbers of teachers for example, I would be happy about it and check into the gifted programs if they are available. The gifted programs are where my son really thrives the most. This class, however, I feel was a benefit to him and he is in 5th grade now.


m_woodard September 2, 2012

Hi hhchavez2002,
Coming from a family of teachers, we have always thought of being placed in a combo class as a compliment. In our area, the children who are placed in these classes have been those who can work independently. I have always wondered why parents get so upset over their child being placed in a combination class, just because it's a combo class. The schools I went to always had combination classes so we didn't know any differently. There always exceptions to the rule, due to personal circumstances.

Being in a combo class is a good learning experience for the older grade and the younger grade students. For the older children it is really good for them both in the area of leadership and socialization. Many times the older children will find themselves helping the other children and being able to help others just reinforces their sense of self and their confidence, and really helps them truly master skills they are helping others with. Socially it gives them a chance to interact with younger children on a regular basis and be their friends and mentors.

For the younger children it's great socially because they do get to spend time with older students who they usually wouldn't be socializing with if they were in a straight 1st grade class. The 1st graders are also challenged more in a sense, because they need to be able to self regulate during class time, because there are times when the teacher will be focusing her attention on instructing the 2nd graders.

I think whether you are on the younger grade and the upper grade there a lot of positives when in the combo class.

Oh and a big one, yes the teacher is teaching two grade level curriculums, which for some may be difficult, but this also forces the teacher to be organized, which is always a good thing for any class.

If you want to make sure your child is challenged enough, you have every right to ask for supplemental work to enrich her learning experience.

I have one child that is on and IEP and one child has been deemed a Gifted Learner, and the most important thing is that you as the parent are as involved as you can be and that you advocate for your child and know their learning style and what they need to thrive.

Good luck!


hitsdoshi August 27, 2012

Also, 1st and 2nd graders are more similar than 2nd & 3rd graders emotionally/socially. IMO, it's a more natural pairing.


hitsdoshi August 27, 2012

Just a thought, your son might do really well in the combo class, if the teacher is well trained on how to run one. I'd make good friends with the teacher, spend some time in the classroom and see how things play out. If you find that the teacher is overwhelmed and unprepared (because classroom management is Different in a combo class) then push again...and if you still get a negative response, make sure that they know you are serious about moving him to private school.

Personally, I believe in combo classes, I think for some students with welltrained teachers, they are great--preferable even...but it does depend on the skills of the teacher.


hhchavez2002 August 27, 2012

Thank you, MagnetMom, for your quick response to my concern, I will keep following up on this for my son's best interest in education.

I really appreciate your help!


MagnetMom August 27, 2012

Hi hhchavez2002,

When there is an uneven number of students, there will have to be some students in the split. If your son was chosen for his ability to work independently, that's not a bad thing.

You could try to keep raising the issue with the hope that he gets moved, or see how he's progressing in a few weeks. Talk to the teacher and ask questions at Back-to-School Night. It would be equally challenging if he was in a 2/3 split, so try not to get hung up on the fact he's one of the older students. He was chosen because they felt he could handle it.

Your choice would be to move to another school, but with class size changes, splits will be a way of life until schools get firmer funding. Private schools often have splits, so even if you didn't have one this year, it might happen next year.

Good luck.


hhchavez2002 August 27, 2012

so I spoke with the principal this morning and this is what her response:
"I spoke with the school principal this morning, she explained to me the students are chosen to be in the combo class usually are the students that can work indpendantly, I furthur asked her what is the
difference between 1st/2nd combo and the 2nd/3rd combo, she said there is no difference. I also asked her about the curriculum in the 1st/2nd class and she does not know, I asked about the ratio between the 1st grader and 2nd grader, and she does not know either.

I asked her if there will be a full time teacher aid to be in the combo class, and the answer is "no".

I furthur asked her if I can request to have him move to a regular 2nd grade class and she said "no", then I asked her, after 2 weeks, when the school knows exactly how many students are attending this year and if there is any opening, can I request to have my son to be moved to a regular 2nd grade class, and the answer is still "no" and futhur to add even if there is opening, it does not mean that she will move students around."

I honestly thought that parents have rights to make the request when it is concering to my child's education, but what I get from this principal is "no".

my son was born on in January 2005, which makes him 7 and half years old now, and for him to be in that 1/2 class, I really don't know if it is going to be beneficial for him.

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