Monday, May 12, 2014

FAQ's about Class Placement Requests

LP Principal’s Desk
May 2014

FAQs About Class Placement Requests
By Mrs. Janet Ciarrocca
In the spring, as thoughts begin to turn toward the upcoming school year, parents often send in requests for specific placements for their children. These requests, though well meaning, often complicate an already difficult placement process.  Please read below for a full explanation of when and how to make teacher requests. Importantly, note the deadline for making requests.  Class assignments will be completed before the end of the school year.  This is very challenging to the effectiveness of the process for everyone. For this reason, I ask you to understand that requests received after May 30 cannot be considered.

Q - Is it possible to request a specific classroom teacher for the next school year?
A – No, requests for specific teachers will not be taken, but please read on.

Q – Why do you not accept requests for specific teachers?
A – Our teachers and administrators spend a great deal of time planning classroom assignments for the next year.  There are a multitude of factors that go into placing students, which include creating a balanced classroom, academically, socially, and demographically.  We also do our best to match teacher personalities in the next grade with students as well as friendships and students who should not be together.  With approximately 750 students, these are a lot of different factors to consider.

Some parents feel that they aren’t being good parents unless they request a specific teacher.  However, without having personal experience with an individual teacher, it means that you may be relying on hearsay to make your decision – which is not always accurate and certainly not always applicable to your child. For the most part, it is important to allow the staff’s expertise, knowledge of academic and social factors, and professional judgment to serve as the guides for the decision. 
It is equally important for us to help our youngsters grow to become resilient and flexible enough to deal with what might not be a first choice. Over their lifetimes, our children will live with a good deal of chance and uncertainty. We serve them well while they are young to allow them prudent opportunities to learn how to cope with change and make new experiences work.
Finally, requesting the same teacher for a second or third child is not always in your child’s best interest. Teachers, like all people, have to work hard to see that child as a unique and individual person rather than a replica of an older sibling’s style.

Q – What types of teacher requests WILL be honored?
A – Special requests must be made directly to me in writing (not email) on or before May 30th.  Requests received after this date will not be considered.

Please remember:
·         Requests for a specific teacher will not be considered.
·         Requests should describe
o    the kind of classroom situation a child might need
o    the type of personality your child might best work with
o    details about a special circumstance
o    reasonably necessary requests (such as when a parent who has had an older child who was placed with a specific teacher does not wish their younger child to have the same placement or if a child is being retained.)

Q - Are all requests honored?
A - No. Logistically, it is impossible to honor every request. Doing so could result in groupings that would not be suitable for the students or their teachers.  We will consider parent input in the above forms as part of our larger discussion and work to place students in the best classroom.
Q - When do we find out to which class our child has been assigned?

A - Lists have traditionally been posted on the school’s lobby doors at 3:30 P.M. on the Friday before Labor Day.