From the Principal's Desk - April 15th, 2016

Grade: 

Categories: 

From the Principal's Desk
 
It's time to begin plans for the 2016-17 school year. The placement team, which includes your child's current teacher, meets many times to create classes.  It is an extremely thoughtful process taking many hours.  Your child's current teacher has a wealth of information about your child in school.  Each child is given careful consideration whether you complete the optional placement form or not.  I want to emphasize that the team reads and considers information from all forms; however, it is impossible to fulfill all the requests that are put forth.  Please realize that we receive numerous and often competing requests from parents. At best, we may be able to fulfill one of your requests.  If you complete this form, please carefully prioritize your requests.

All information must be in writing.  Do not share information with your child's current teacher verbally.  Sometimes changes are made at the last minute when your child's teacher is not available and we must rely on written information to inform the process.

Please remember:  
  • Parents cannot choose their child's teacher by making suggestions to the teacher/principal.
  • We look carefully at all children when making decisions.  Parents do not have to make an appointment with the principal or their child's teacher to be given consideration.
  • The team does not refer to information from placement letters written in past years.

Our goal is to create balanced classes composed of children who can work together educationally and socially.  We believe that children learn from each other as well as from their teachers, and that heterogeneous classes balanced with regard to cognitive, social, and emotional development, skill acquisition, and gender promote the best learning environment for all children.  To achieve this, we solicit information from staff. They know students in a variety of school settings.

Here is what you can do:

We all need to understand that class placement decisions are the responsibility of the child's teachers and the principal.  Your child's present teacher has a year's worth of current, rich information and insight concerning how each child works best in school.  This information, combined with data from specialists, provides the basis for class placement.  This is not a departure from our usual process; it is our attempt for you to let us do our job as fairly as possible.

If you believe you have additional input that will be helpful to the team, please complete the optional form that will be sent home with your child.  As in the past, we will try to honor requests for friendships; however, we also believe that children should have the opportunity to develop new relationships with other classmates.  If you feel there are important friendships you would like us to consider, you may share this information by indicating at least three friends.  Again, we will do our best to honor at least one friendship.

In fairness to everyone, please observe these guidelines:
Because of the demands of time and equity issues, I will not be meeting with parents individually about the placement of students.  If there are some circumstances that you think I need to know, please write a separate letter marked "Confidential".

Parents should not talk to teachers about the placement of students.  Teachers have been instructed not to have conversations with parents about placement for the coming year.  These conversations place inappropriate and undue expectations on teachers and impact negatively on the fairness of the placement procedure.

Do not request a particular teacher by name or description.

In an effort to ensure a smooth transition, at the end of the school year we will conduct a step-up day when all students from each grade level visit with all teachers for the next grade level.  This practice encourages children to separate from their current teacher appropriately.

All forms and letters must be received by Friday, May 6, to be considered as part of the placement process. Late letters cannot be considered.

I ask that you trust us to use our knowledge of your child to provide a strong educational experience for all students.  Placement is a very intricate and thoughtful process that elicits input from many people who have in-depth knowledge of all of our students.  An enormous amount of energy goes into this important task.  Therefore, once assignments have been made, they are final.  Placement letters, including class lists, will go out district-wide in late August.  I believe that by our working closely together and communicating in an honest and direct way, we will gain the information needed to make the best decisions for all students.

Sincerely,
Audrey Peller, Principal