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Monday, August 21, 2006

Logic Problem

I have finished my student lists for both runs. My new secondary route is pure gravy! More HS students than MS students, five seniors and fewer miles. I will miss the kids I lost but look forward to meeting the new kids.

Right now my elementary run route stands at 62 students. Some only ride in the morning, some only in the afternoon and a couple only when they have to go to an alternate sitter so it isn't quite as bad as it seems. In the past I have let the kids pick their seats and seat mates the first few days of school, made adjustments and assigned seats from there. With this many kids I know that is not a smart idea.

I spent four hours the other day updating the lists and then my seating chart which turned into a giant logic problem.

• I have 22 seats, 3 to a seat, except one which only accommodates 2 = 65 spots
• Can only seat 2 in front right so I have a spot for discipline/ training/
testing
• Some of the larger students will be quite squashed 3 to a seat, especially
when they have to start wearing winter coats.
• I have to follow the middle loading principle whenever possible. (Those on
the longest should sit in the middle)
• Of the 13 kindergartners that I expect, 8 have older siblings they will
want to sit with to start the year.
• 5th graders privilege – they get to sit furthest back. (Yes that messes up
the middle loading principle somewhat.)
• Kindergartners should sit as far forward as possible. (Middle loading isn’t
totally out the window but it is on its way.)
• One does not speak English = front seat.
• Students with special needs must be accommodated.
• What to do with several students whose behavior was not great last year?
• Certain kids do not get along and must be separated by at least 2 seats for
my sanity.
• Try and keep best buddies together.
• No little ones by the emergency exits. (There are just too many little ones!)

I have decided who will sit together to start and made up my seating chart. I made up name tags and put them up this morning. I also have my welcome back letter written and got all my copying done this morning. I drove part of the route and found the addresses I wasn't sure of. I can go on vacation next week and not worry because everything is done. After the Superintendent's address on the 5th all I'll have to do is make sure nothing froze up over three weeks and I'll be ready to roll on the 6th.

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