Compose Settings
  • 09 Mar 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Compose Settings

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Article Summary

By default, the algorithm aims to balance classrooms based on the following criteria: gender, reading scores, behavior scores, last year’s teachers, and placement requests. Using the Compose Settings you can set rules for the distribution algorithm to cluster or evenly distribute identified students into certain classes for next year. You can also choose a class to loop for next year.  

Click on any image to expand the view.

Class List Composition Rules

Exclusive Rules

With this rule, you can tell the algorithm to place identified students into a specific classroom or evenly distribute them across two or more classrooms of next year's grade level in an exclusive way.

In the example below we have two classrooms reserved for bilingual students. Only Students identified as BIL (the three-letter abbreviation of the bilingual identifier) will be evenly spread across these two classrooms. No non-bilingual students can be placed in these two classrooms.

When Compose is run this will be the result. Class 1 and Class 2 have an equal distribution of bilingual students. Since Class 3 and Class 4 were not selected, no BIL students were placed in them. And vice versa, no non-bilingual students were placed in Class 1 and Class 2.

An Exclusive assignment is exclusive: 
A classroom that is used in an Exclusive rule, cannot be used in a another rule.

Inclusive Rules

With this rule, you can tell the algorithm to place identified students into a specific classroom or evenly distribute them across two or more classrooms of next year's grade level, while also placing non-identified students in these classrooms to fill them up to capacity.

In the example below we have a group of English Language Learners (ELL) that would benefit from mixing with others. It would also be best to spread them among the teachers so that they all get the attention they deserve.

After Compose is run this is the result. The ELL students are evenly spread among the classrooms, which also include non-ELL students.

Loop Class

With this rule, you can tell the algorithm to loop a current year class to a class in next year's grade level.  All the students in the current year class chosen will remain intact for next year.

In the example below we have chosen to loop Bretta's class and place them in Class 4 for next year's 1st grade.

A Loop Class assignment is exclusive:
A classroom that is used in a Loop Class rule, cannot be used in a another rule.

Multiple Rules

You can set multiple rules. Use the green + icon to add a rule, the red bin to delete a rule, and please be sure to click the blue Save or Save and Exit buttons to save your settings. In case you are setting different types of rules, we recommend you start with Loop Rules, followed by Exclusive rules, and then Inclusive Rules.

View Compose Rules

While composing a grade level, you can check what rules were set by clicking the View Compose Rules button on the top right of your screen. This can come in handy for teachers who do not have access to the Admin Dashboard were Compose rules are set.

Test Out Different Compose Settings

With our Start Over feature, you can reset your class lists composition, set new rules, and compose again.  

Compose Algorithm Breakdown

Too Many Exclusive Rules

Too many exclusive rules may prevent the algorithm from running as no classrooms may be left to place certain students. For example, suppose you have 6 classrooms, and you set three exclusive rules: BIL students in classes 1 and 2, SPE in classes 3 and 4, and IEP in classes 5 and 6. Now suppose in that grade one or more students are not identified as BIL, SPE, or IEP. The algorithm cannot create a 7th classroom to place them, and so as a result, it won't run and you will get the following alert.

Conflicting Rules

The algorithm does its best to honor your rules as well as the Placement Requests that were entered on a student's card such as Keep with Teacher, Keep with Student, and Keep Away from Student. The rules themselves or the combination of rules and placement requests may be in conflict. For example, a student may be identified as both GT and ELL with one rule placing them in class 1 and the other in class 2. Another example is a student Identified as GT with a rule to place them in class 1, but another student that they are supposed to be Kept Away from has a similar rule placing them in class 1 as well. In these cases, it is not possible for the algorithm to honor these conflicting requirements. We recommend you always verify the result of the placements after the algorithm is run by using the highlight/filter feature on the data table.