Carlton has a unique way of educating our students. We use a continuous progress model to determine into which cohort our students are placed. Students transition into the next grade when they are ready, rather than following the more traditional September to June grade level transition. At Carlton, students have the opportunity to transition at three different points during the school year. Teachers, support staff and administrators meet at the end of each trimester to determine whether a student is ready to move to the next cohort. At these meetings, we discuss the “whole child,” and look at a number of factors when considering whether a student is ready to transition to the next grade, including but not limited to the student’s academic and social-emotional development. We do not automatically move students after three trimesters (the equivalent of one school year), as is the case with a more traditional school model. We really make sure students are ready to move up and on.
We use the terms “primary” and “elementary” to describe our “grades” or cohorts. For example, P1 stands for Primary 1 (kindergarten) and P2 stands for Primary 2 (grades 1 and 2). E1 stands for Elementary 1 (grade 3) and E2 stands for Elementary 2.
We currently have two P1 classes. These two classrooms are the first place students go when they come to Carlton. The P1 cohort is taught using the MA kindergarten standards in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Once the students are determined to be ready to move to the next cohort, they transition to P2.
We currently have four P2 classes. Students in P2 learn the MA first and second grade standards. Students can remain in the P2 cohort for up to eight trimesters before they transition to the next cohort. When the student is deemed ready, they move to E1.
We currently have two E1 classes. E1 is where the MA third-grade standards are taught. Students can use up to five trimesters in E1 before their transition to the next cohort. When they are ready, students move to E2.
We currently have four E2 classes. E2 is where the MA fourth and fifth grade standards are taught. E2 is a pivotal cohort for our students because here is where they learn, practice and prepare to enjoy a successful transition to middle school. Students can remain in E2 for up to eight trimesters.
In addition to academics, we at Carlton prioritize social-emotional learning and support for our students. Teachers of each cohort use a variety of CASEL-approved curricula (eg, Caring School Community) to teach and support our students’ social/emotional development as well as to assess students’ social and emotional readiness when transitioning to a new cohort.