Skip to main content

Combined Classroom


Combination Classrooms


Mastering grade level standards, achieving personal excellence, and becoming responsible decision makers are goals for all students.Opportunities for both academic and social enrichment are an integral part of the combination classroom program. Every child has access to the high quality education program offered by the Glendale Unified School District. 

Instruction in combination classes is conducted in much the same way as in single- grade level classes. The Common Core State Standards are the foundation of all instruction. Students can be grouped according to skill levels, and always use grade-appropriate textbooks. Concepts can be introduced to the entire class with the follow-up activities assigned with grade level materials. For instance, students might study concepts of addition, but the independent follow up would be different for each grade level. 

Teachers carefully select appropriate instructional groupings, teaching methods, and materials for their students. These decisions are based on thorough on-going assessment. In all classrooms, when the teacher is working with a small group, other groups in the room are doing assigned work which has been designed for them.

Lincoln Elementary School also accesses instructional assistants to aid in whole group activities, and to work with small groups of students on targeted skills. There is also an opportunity for students of one grade level to work independently with the classroom teacher during the other grade level’s physical education time. Having independent instructional time with half the number of students in class, is not a luxury afforded in single- grade level classes. 

Teachers and administrators carefully select students assigned to combination classrooms. Placement criteria is based on: 

  •  Student's academic success 
  •  Student's ability to work both responsibly and independently 
  •  Student's ability to work cooperatively with other students 
  •  Prior teacher's recommendations

 Efforts are made to place all students in classrooms where they will succeed.

The Glendale Unified School District policy is to maintain a reasonable enrollment figure in each elementary classroom so that all students receive appropriate instruction, attention, and assistance. 

Combination classes are necessary for the following reasons:  

  • To implement State law which limits class size in grades K-3 
  •  To provide reasonable class sizes in grades 4-5 
  •  To adhere to the District's budget 
  •  To accommodate school growth 

Parents should exhibit a positive attitude about their child's classroom placement. Encourage your student to take pride in his/her classroom and to take advantage of the unique opportunities available only to those students in combination classrooms. Help your student to understand that it is important to develop friendships and bonds just as he/she would when assigned to any classroom. Research has shown there’s no difference in academic achievement between children in split classes versus single-grade level classes. There are also many social emotional benefits enjoyed by students in combination classes. Combination class students are less competitive with one another and more cooperative than students in same-grade classrooms. Younger children gain self-confidence and maturity by being exposed to older students; older students learn to be positive, mature role models for the younger students. There is greater peer-to-peer learning in blended classrooms. Students develop friendships across grade levels and blended classrooms instill a greater sense of responsibility for one another, and a better sense of community.