Q: Should I separate my multiples in school, and are there any laws about classroom placement of multiples?

A: This question is by far the most frequently asked about school age multiples and is sometimes controversial in the world of multiples. Most literature and information about school placement with multiples involves twin research. Many schools believe that multiples, particularly twins, should be treated equally and thus separated. Some school administrators feel that separating multiples gives each child the chance to develop a distinct personality. Many parents of multiples feel that they know their children best and should have the final say regarding their children’s placement. Research studies show that placement affects multiples differently depending on the zygosity and age of the multiples as well as other factors.

The decision is best made based on each child’s and each family’s needs. The decision making process should involve parents, teachers and administrators working together with best interest of these particular children in mind and not necessarily a school policy with a blanket rule for all multiple birth children or a matter of convenience. What will be right and appropriate for one family may not be for the next. In addition, the decision should be reviewed on an annual basis since what was appropriate and reasonable for one academic year may not be for the following year. Ultimately, it may be in the children’s best interest to have at least some separate classroom experiences prior to entering middle school where separation is inevitable.

States with legislation on classroom placement of multiples (bolded states have passed legislation or adopted a resolution):

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