is there a law that says i can keep my kids in the same class?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by ilovemykids, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    i have been doing a serious amount of research on-line and trying to fight to keep my twins together as they enter kindergarten.  i want them together and i have a meeting with their upcoming principal/school to request.  she stated on the phone her policy is to separate twins and thats that.
    i am not really sure what this 'bill' means - does this mean that there is educational law that allows my right as a parent to NOT separate my kids?
    found this on here -
  2. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    yep, I think the twins law is effective in Florida.  I didn't look at your link, but I've looked at the twins law referring to FL before.  I believe there are guidelines, like you have to ask ahead of time, and it really only effective for public schools?  but I think private would follow along.
    I would talk with them.  yes, having some paperwork to back you up would be good.
    Mine are currently together and doing well for the most part... we are debating on splitting my daughter off because I think the teacher isn't a fit for her learning style... UGH!  the twins are a little competitive, but I don't think they are disruptive to the class, no more disruptive than some of the other energetic kids in there!
  3. moski

    moski Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I know here in MA you can request that they keep your twins in the same class.  Mine were together in K and 1, then we separated them in 2nd. 
  4. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    :( i found a Bill that was put forth in NY but I am assuming that it's not a law yet.
    My district said it's their 'policy' to separate.  just searched on their BOE site and there is no such policy that was written or adopted.
  5. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    have they been to preschool together? maybe a recommendation of their current schooling would help.
    mine worked well together in the same class, weren't overly competitive, clingy, domineering etc.  good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  6. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yup it's a law in mass that the parents have the final say. It's not a law in NY, so my guess is the school gets the final say. I've kept my boys together in K, and will probably do the same for first(first time full day). And we will see where it goes from there.
  7. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I wanted my girls separate, but there is another set of twin in their grade. At k orientation, the mom asked about keeping them together. She was told she would have to write a letter to the superintendent. I remember talking to her after the meeting. I told her why I wanted my girls apart. I assumed she changed her mind about having her girls together since they were apart. One in each of my girls class.
    I'm in long island NY.
  8. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    i am on long island, too and want my children together.  i think if i want them together, i should be able to do so.  I'm in education; i think it's cruel to separate them against my wishes.
    from what I'm gathering from districts, it seems to be what the district wants.  in other words, each district has different 'policies.'
    my district that i work in allows the parents to choose.  others don't.
  9. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    If you want them to be together I would be prepared to talk to the superintendent.  Make sure you have your reasons for keeping them together as opposed to apart.
  10. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Mine have been together since PreK. It was 'policy' in our school to split twins as well. 
    PreK- only one class option
    1st- we were new to the area so kept them together as a familiar face, school supportive
    2nd- kept together under verbal protest of school
    3rd- I had to write a formal letter stating why I wanted them together
    Actually, I am 'pro- what works best' for each set of twins/multiples. I know twins that are well served apart and some are well-served together. In our case, there is no competitiveness, they are the same level academically (so if split, one would travel for reading, writing, & math to the other class----silly!!), and function completely independently with the exception that they both have some minor special needs. In that case, they are each others best advocate & supporter.
    Each year, we are prepared to split them if the need arises. But each year, the teacher has not had a reason other than they are 'twins' so my two have stayed together.
    (Long story, but my girls did not do K- so that is why it is not listed)
  11. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    My boys have always been split up, now in 6th grade is the first time they have classes together.  Actually, all 4 sets of twins in their grade have always been split.  That said, if you are writing a letter, make sure the reasons for keeping them together are about the kids.  For example, saying you want them together because it is easier for you to help in the classroom isn't a good reason--that is about you and not them.
    Our school district will abide by the parents wishes, until the children show that they need a different placement.  We had a set of triplets that the parent insisted be kept together and they did through 2nd grade.  At that time, it was determined that their sibling issues were disruptive to the class, and it was a horrible year for everyone.  The next year, and ever since, they have been split up.
  12. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I'm on Long Island too and there are three sets of twins in my girls' grade (1st). Two sets are separated (we requested ours be separated because they are VERY competitive and one is on grade level and the other advanced), and one set is together as per the parents request.
  13. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    When I inquired about both public and private school in our area, the wish to keep the twins together or separate was up to me.  We elected to go to Catholic school where they only had one kindergarten class, so mine are together this year.  If there is two first grade classes next year then we will separate.  
    I think academically my two are fine together, socially though, they are very reliant on each other and prefer each other over the other kids.  
    My sister in law is a teacher and I know she has said in her school, they do leave it up to the parents as well but it's her opinion that twins do better separated.
    1 person likes this.
  14. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, I got a twin study review via email today. I have permission to share it here, so I'm going to post it in its entirety. I hope it's helpful to somebody!

    <quote>PRESS RELEASE

    New Research Report Challenges Common Administrative Policy Enforcing Twin Separation in Kindergarten

    A comprehensive new research report published this week in Educational Policy reveals that kindergarten separation is traumatic for many young twins and confirms that many school principals separate twins in school against the wishes of both the children and their parents. This investigation by Dr. Lynn Melby Gordon at California State University, Northridge is the first study to explore the separation of twins in kindergarten by directly comparing and examining the beliefs of elementary principals, kindergarten teachers, parents, and twins. The report is a significant contribution to the literature, as research in the area of twins and school separation is very limited. The results of the research do not support mandatory school separation policies for all twins.

    The primary between-groups comparison shows that principals are much more likely to believe that twins should be separated in kindergarten compared to the beliefs of kindergarten teachers, parents of twins, and young twins. While a majority (71%) of the principals surveyed believed that twins should be separated in kindergarten, only 49% of the teachers, 38% of the parents, and 19% of the preschool and kindergarten twins agreed. (See Figure 1.)

    This study reveals that most principals express a strong bias toward the ideals of individualism and independence and tend to discount the positive aspects of twin affiliation or twin bonding between young twins. A troubling finding from the group of principals surveyed is that over half of separation-favoring-principals believe that twins do better academically when they are placed in separate classes and almost one quarter erroneously believe that research indicates that twins do better academically when they are placed in separate classes. These presumptions are not supported by the existing body of twin research. Instead, studies tend to show either no difference in the academic achievement of twins placed together versus apart or that academic achievement tends to be better when twins are placed together.

    Other findings:

    81% of preschool and kindergarten twins want to stay together in kindergarten, but 58% of twins are separated into different classes.
    3% of all twins who are placed in separate classes are very traumatized by kindergarten separation and an additional 17% are somewhat traumatized, according to their parents.
    Female identical twins are the most likely to report wanting to stay together in the same class in kindergarten (100% in study sample).
    Most parents favor joint placement of twins in kindergarten. Perhaps not surprisingly, 95% of parents believe that they know their kids best and believe that schools should try to honor their class placement requests for twins.
    90% of kindergarten teachers would not mind having a set of twins in their class.
    A full 69% of principals believe that separation is probably a little traumatic, and 6% believe that separating twins in kindergarten is very traumatic.

    Additional results describe principals and parents reasons for separation beliefs held and twins positive and negative reactions to school separation. Representative belief statements of twins, categorized into themes, supplement the paper.

    The complete Twins and Kindergarten Separation research report includes a review of circumstances when twins are likely to benefit from class separation. For example, when twins display pronounced behavior problems with one another at home or in preschool, parents recognize this to be a clear and practical reason to separate those individuals, at least for a few hours a day when they go to elementary schoolbut the studys primary conclusion is that, unless there is a compelling reason to separate twins, it is often best to keep them together, at least in kindergarten.

    As Gordon explains, school leaders should know that when a pair of twins has a genuine preference to stay together in school, it does not necessarily indicate a pathological codependence, a lack of individuality, or an inability to make friends with other childrenit is, more likely, simply indicative of a healthy, supportive relationship.

    It is hoped that the full research report published today by Educational Policy will be disseminated widely to school leaders in order to encourage principals to take parent and twin requests into account and to avoid making unilateral class placement decisions.


    Lynn Melby Gordon, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Elementary Education at California State University, Northridge. 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8265. Email: [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>

    Citation for Source Article:

    Gordon, L. M. (2014). Twins and kindergarten separation: Divergent beliefs of principals, teachers, parents, and twins. Educational Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0895904813510778

    Figure 1 is from Gordon, L. M. (2014). Twins and kindergarten separation: Divergent beliefs of principals, teachers, parents, and twins. Educational Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0895904813510778)

    Link to the Educational Policy Advance Online Publication:
    Tip: Access the research report through a library to avoid the research article purchase fee charged by Educational Policy.

    (Press Release by Lynn Gordon)

    Lynn Gordon, Ph.D.
    Department of Elementary Education
    California State University, Northridge
    1 person likes this.
  15. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I don't understand how twins are any more traumatized than any other child going to K by themself. Note that it says "as reported by parents." Parents who want to see trauma from separation will see what they want to see.
    6 people like this.
  16. Sue1968

    Sue1968 Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with this. It's like saying that every singleton who goes to school without a twin in their class is traumatized. Part of the kindergarten experience is about gaining independence at school.
    I think it should be your choice to keep them together for kindergarten, however, it will not be the end of their world to be separated, either. I wanted my twins separated and they thrived that way. An added plus is that they got along so much better at home after being apart from each other all day.
    1 person likes this.
  17. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the study. But, when facing a "policy" that will doubtless be supported by the professional opinions of teachers and administration, here's a counter argument.
  18. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I just prefer counter arguments to be based on logic.

    I'm not saying all twins should be separated. I do have a bias that way. But usually when I hear people arguing why their twins should stay together, there's a thread of "but my poor babies need each other." That "study" doesn't counteract that.
    1 person likes this.
  19. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    The above graphic chart is a good visual and covers a lot of the pros/cons and research, etc.

    It really makes it clear that is is not a yes/no choice and so many other things come into play. The way they present the data is easy to read and understand quickly.

    FWIW: My girls do things apart and function the same when a twin is absent. A popular substitute teacher that was in/out of the room did not even realize they were twins last year until March!

    I battle the false assumption that they 'need each other'. They dont. But so far they prefer to be together, academically they would otherwise work together, they respond to the same teacher-style, and being together has not been an issue. They learn more from joint discussions post-school than they would on differing discussions. They both have VERY different world-views and discussing shared experiences really has helped them build deeper understanding and comprehension. For us it works--- the instant is stops working, they request it, or becomes a concern (behavioral/academic/otherwise): we will not hesitate to split them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016
  20. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    The OP stated that she found no published policy on separation for her county. To me, it sounds like a principal's bias. A counter to a bias in one direction is an argument biased toward yours. This may help with that. It may not.

    FWIW, we're splitting the girls next year (depending on teacher placement) but no later than K. The opinion of my husband and his peers (as biased as the OP's principal and the study), though, is that codependency is stronger between ID twins. I see some degree of that (I also see ways that they support one another's strengths) and we've come to this age as our cut-off.

    This study came in unsolicited through our general contact email.
  21. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    My boys have been seperated at school since they were 14 months old.  They will be together in the same class for the first time for K.  Only one room.  How they do will determine if I will battle public school over seperation when they move to 1st grade at a public school.  Since 1st grade will be a major transition for both of them I lean towards asking for them to stay together and then seperate in 2nd grade.  However if K together is a complete disaster then they will be seperated for 1st.
    You can use pubmed to find some abstracts for twin seperation studies.
    I strongly feel there should never be a one size fits all of any child or any set of multiples.  So much goes into what they need to be successful that it does twins a disservice to not look beyond the twin status when making decisions. 
    I always think of my grandmother attending a one room schoolhouse with 7 siblings.  She was actually moved up a grade level because she was advanced so she was with one of her brothers grade level wise.  All through school they were the only two kids at that grade level.  Wonder what all the "experts" would say about that? 
  22. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I also can't help but wonder how much opposition to twin separation would simply disappear if the policies disappeared and the decision was always approached as a shared decision between the parents and the teacher. When people feel forced or backed into a corner they're much more likely to fight back but when they feel safe and in control they're much more likely to be open to other ideas they may not have considered otherwise.

    Interestingly, there are 3 sets of twins between the two K classes at the girls school this year. My girls and the set of ID boys are in separate classes while the set of Frat girls are together. The teachers were very accommodating and were totally open to our input on separation or not. They were even open to changing the arrangements if our plan As weren't working out. In the end, it's gone very well and I'm happy with our decision.
    1 person likes this.
  23. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    You're right, Rachel. Collaboration would go a long way, I think.
    1 person likes this.
  24. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I agree!!
    The issue is when schools think (regardless of policy) that twins should be split no matter what.
    We really had to argue that it was  not practical to have one of my twins travel back & forth to a classroom if they were split. So one twin would spend 100%in a class and the other would travel 60% or so of the time. This would happen because mine are in the same reading literature circles, Spelling Group, and Writing Circle because they have very close abilities at this point in time. The differentiated groupings in their grade has kids travel to the  teachers to their 'group' in those subjects-- There are 3 classes so they just dont have enough groups to have two groupings at the same levels.  This year they have not done as much traveling due to some staff changes and teacher preferences- but I heard that next year it is ,again, common practice with that team of teachers. So far, there is no reason to split them other than 'because they are twins' and that is not a legitimate reason for DH & I since they are both flourishing.
    Also, this year--- the teacher they both share was hands-down the best choice for both girls (the same teacher had them in 1st grade) vs the other two teachers. They are all excellent teachers-- but the current teacher is the *warm & fuzzy* type and the other two are not. DDs both really respond well to warm & fuzzy at this point.
  25. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    For me, the argument that singletons don't have a sibling with them therefore separating twins is no big deal was never valid.  A singleton does not have a sibling to be with them in class, that is true, but they are also not being separated from someone who they have spent every day with since they were born (other than their mom but that is true for all kids).   We opted to keep our two together in Kindergarten because they would already be adjusting to a completely new environment, being at school for a whole day, and with unfamiliar people.  We decided that choosing that time to also separate them from each other would be just one more adjustment that was unnecessary.   So, I decided to keep them together for Kindergarten, then after that to leave it up to the teachers whether they would be together or separate each year.  The school/teachers kept them together for Grade 1 and now Grade 2 and they are telling me they would be fine together for next year, as well, but I think I am going to ask for them to be separated for Grade 3.  Mostly because I love both of the Grade 3 teachers at their school so it would be a good time to put them in different classes.
    I definitely think parents should have input into whether or not their twins are separated.  If they have valid reasons for wanting them together, it should not be up to the principal who doesn't even know the children.  After all, no two situations or families are the same and a one size fits all rule is unlikely to be effective.
  26. threebecamefive

    threebecamefive Well-Known Member

    For some reason, I'm not having any luck quoting, but the first couple sentences Tina wrote were the exact thoughts I had. You can't compare a twin to a singleton. It's not the same thing. Absolutely, they are all individuals and should be allowed to be their own person, but twins have had their twin with them since birth. They have had their same aged partner with them always. A singleton hasn't had that.
    I really have a hard time with any school, teacher, parent, etc that declares all twins must be separated. For many, that is fine and in their best interest. For some, it's best for the twins to be allowed to be with their twin. In my opinion, the decision needs to be a team decision where the parents, the children, the teachers and aides, and administration all have the opportunity to have a voice.
  27. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    Our school was very clear to point out that their preference was to separate twins, but would work with the parents if they wanted to keep them together.  My kids are only in 1st grade, but I have received a phone call from the principal both years to talk about keeping them together/separate.  He expressed his opionions based upon their teacher feedback, but it was our decision.  For my kids, being apart works best.  Maybe that isn't the case for other twins and I like that the school district is willing to discuss it and work together to make a decision.
  28. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    thank-you so much for your support.  i have copied/pasted so much of this to help support my discussion which feels like it will be an argument with the principal.  she is rumored to be very set in her ways and will not stray for someone.
    so - these facts i hope help.
  29. SuzyHolland

    SuzyHolland Well-Known Member

    My twins have only 1 thing in common and that is their date of birth.
    Besides that ....nothing.
    They never really played together. Have different intrests,.
    I wanted them in different classes so they could been seen as individuals and not as twins. So they wouldn't be compaird.
    We have a small school, so they only reason they are apart is that Cosmo skipped a grade.
    Sometimes i think it's more the parent's that want the twin to stay together.
    2 people like this.
  30. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    But twins do often have a different experience as toddlers than single children. They have had someone to share with and be with from the very beginning. They have probably grown up with that person doing mostly the same kinds of things at the same stages. My girls are very different personalities, but had a different experience with that "built-in" friend than my other children. So I can see where it could be more traumatic for twins than for other children.

    I don't think that this paper actually shows more trauma, though. It talks about percentages of who wants what. But I do think it's kind of significant that most principals seem to all think that they know what is best for all twins, even ones who've never been in their school. If you think it's best for your twins to be separated, great. If you think it's best for them not to be, that should be considered. Why assume that someone who doesn't know the children at all, knows more about what is good for particular children than their own parents?
  31. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    It is almost always the parents that lead the 'apart or separate' discussion for the youngest kiddos. As they should- upon entering preschool or K, parents know their twins the best and are often in a unique position to provide insight to educators. Sometimes twins are best separated and sometimes the best placement is together. As long term studies have shown-- there is no clear-cut answer and splitting/staying together does have an impact on twins. BUT that impact varying by type of twin, personality, etc.
    So, yes parents often have a preference. But that preference is always based on what they know of their own children. Sometimes they want them split up and sometimes they want them together.
    Anytime a blanket policy is made--- it is taking out the individualization out of the equation. As we all know- no two kids are alike, no two situations are alike. So each circumstance should be treated that way. And as twins get older, yes- their preference should also play into the equation.
    I would just be leery of statements that are sweeping generalizations---- "All twins should….", "Parents that split/keep twin together all want….", "Seperating/keeping together twins is always the best….".
    1 person likes this.
  32. Aeliza

    Aeliza Well-Known Member

    I wholeheartedly agree that the decision should be something made between the parent and school staff. The teacher or whoever can offer advice but also hear the parent out on the reasons he or she wishes the twins to be together or separated. It's not really something that can have a blanket law on. Every situation is different. I read a book recently about a mom with twins and was able to keep them together in school. Once the kids were in about 3rd grade, they decided together they were ready to move to separate classes. The kids made that decision because they were ready to be apart from each other. Being together they did not have trouble making other friends or distracting each other. Having each other in the classroom became a much needed comfort until they were ready to be on their own. It worked out very well for them and for the school. 
    I believe some twins would benefit from being together in class, while some twins may need to be separated. I also believe there is a fine line between wanting what's best for the kids and wanting what's best for mommy/daddy. No matter what, when it comes to school placement, it's what's best for the kids. If it's easier for parent to have them together or parent just doesn't want to face the possibility of tears and fear of separation or whatever the reason is, that reason is not good enough. If what's best for the twins is to keep them together because they need that comfort to start elementary school with, then that is a better reason. 
    I know for me that separating my boys was the best thing for them. I did not know how I'd feel when they were first born, In fact, me and DH were very sure we'd be fighting to keep them together for at least kindergarten. But, by the time they were 3 years old in preschool, it was obvious they needed to be apart. TOO much competition between them! One twin was the talker and much more needy of attention, while the other remained shy and insecure. Once I found a place I could separate them at this early an age, it was obvious I did the right thing. Cameron was able to have his own space and friends, while Kiefer gained confidence and security among new friends of his own. No more fighting over friends. They both were much more willing to share friends and would even enjoy each other's company at home. It was night and day! Separating them was the right thing for us! It's not the right choice for everyone. 
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